Letter of Intent to be signed by Directors at the Institution Level - Under Construction


The Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning is a collaborative project among librarians serving the constituencies of a range of institutions in the greater Denton literacy community: Denton Independent School District, Denton Public Library, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Blagg-Huey Library, TWU’s Department of Library and Information Studies, University of North Texas (UNT) Department of Library and Information Science, and UNT’s Willis Library.

The collaborators on this project have a shared investment in lifelong learning in our community. Working together, we will focus our efforts on positively impacting the literacy of pre-kindergarten through graduate school learners through strengthening their opportunities for practicing the skills and strategies required to become effective users of ideas and information, producers of knowledge, and participants in the civic, social, and political spheres of our community, the nation, and the world.


Judi's Statement to Caroline Booth
Caroline.Booth@unt.edu
Director of Communications and Marketing University of North Texas Libraries
940.369.7573

The Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning is a collaborative project among librarians serving the constituencies of a range of institutions in the greater Denton literacy community: Denton Independent School District, Denton Public Library, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Blagg-Huey Library, TWU’s Department of Library and Information Studies, University of North Texas (UNT) Department of Library and Information Science, and UNT’s Willis Library. The collaborators on this project have a shared investment in lifelong learning in our community. Working together, we will focus our efforts on positively impacting the literacy of pre-kindergarten through graduate school learners through strengthening their opportunities for practicing the skills and strategies required to become effective users of ideas and information, producers of knowledge, and participants in the civic, social, and political spheres of our community, the nation, and the world.

1. What are the primary benefits of a group like DI4LL for:
-- its members
As members of the DI4LL and colleagues in the library profession, we have a great deal to learn with and from one another. We recognize that our shared values in librarianship—advocacy for equal access to ideas and information for all members of society, respect for intellectual property rights, and belief in the freedom to read and the primacy of literacy in people’s lives—provide us with a firm foundation from which to grow. We are also aware that our individual teaching and learning environments have strengths and pose unique challenges. Within our institutions, classroom teachers, faculty, and librarians will be impacted by this effort, which will improve their ability to provide high-quality, 21st-century learning opportunities for young people. By pooling our collective knowledge and experience, we intend to develop our individual understandings and practices in order to strengthen our collective impact on individual communities and our collective community as well.
-- their institutions
Each institution has a great deal to be gained from this effort. Literacy learning is central to the work of all of the institutions represented in this project. Working within and beyond institutional borders can help ensure that the youth are prepared for college and career and for lifelong learning. It is in the best interest of our institutions to understand our places in the entire literacy system in our community and work together to improve opportunities for all.
-- students at the institutions
The children, youth, and young adults who will be impacted by this effort will be given opportunities to practice the skills and strategies they will employ throughout their lives as they live and work in a society defined by ubiquitous access to information. They will learn how to comprehend, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information that meets their individual needs and answers their unique questions and will master skills and strategies that will transfer to a variety of information-problem solving situations.

2. In your experience, is a group like this unique?
I am not aware of another effort like this one in our nation. We realize this is an ambitious undertaking and are determined to enjoy and learn from the journey whether or not we are successful in reaching our goals. We hope to infuse the learners and teachers at our individual institutions with this same spirit of discovery as we inquire into the best ways to impact literacy learning in our community.

3. After the book study is complete, what next steps would you like to see the group take?
The next steps are still under negotiation. One idea is to develop our expertise in the area of action research. This will allow individual librarians who are part of this initiative to ask a question that is meaningful in their particular teaching situation, study the problem and suggest interventions to solve it, collect data, and analyze the results. Each action researcher would then share her/his learning with other stakeholders impacted by the problem who would benefit from hearing the results of the study and with the DI4LL group.

While these problems and interventions may look different from the perspective of members of each institution, we believe we can learn a great deal from each other’s efforts to address literacy challenges. Through learning with and from one another, we will able better able to answer some of the pressing literacy challenges and strengthen our individual and collective communities. In the process, we will also strengthen the professionalism within our own ranks and further the critical role of librarians as information specialists, instructional partners, and leaders in the 21st century.

Caroline Booth
Caroline.Booth@unt.edu
Director of Communications and Marketing University of North Texas Libraries
940.369.7573
Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning
https://dentoninquiry4lifelonglearning.wikispaces.com/
The Denton Inquiry 4 Lifelong Learning is a collaborative project among librarians serving the constituencies of a range of institutions in the greater Denton literacy community: Denton Independent School District, Denton Public Library, Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Blagg-Huey Library, TWU’s Department of Library and Information Studies, University of North Texas (UNT) Department of Library and Information Science, and UNT’s Willis Library. The collaborators on this project have a shared investment in lifelong learning in our community. Working together, we will focus our efforts on positively impacting the literacy of pre-kindergarten through graduate school learners through strengthening their opportunities for practicing the skills and strategies required to become effective users of ideas and information, producers of knowledge, and participants in the civic, social, and political spheres of our community, the nation, and the world.
1. What are the primary benefits of a group like DI4LL for:
-- its members
As members of the DI4LL and colleagues in the library profession, we have a great deal to learn with and from one another. We recognize that our shared values in librarianship—advocacy for equal access to ideas and information for all members of society, respect for intellectual property rights, and belief in the freedom to read and the primacy of literacy in people’s lives—provide us with a firm foundation from which to grow. We are also aware that our individual teaching and learning environments have strengths and pose unique challenges. Within our institutions, classroom teachers, faculty, and librarians will be impacted by this effort, which will improve their ability to provide high-quality, 21st-century learning opportunities for young people. By pooling our collective knowledge and experience, we intend to develop our individual understandings and practices in order to strengthen our collective impact on individual communities and our collective community as well.
-- their institutions
Each institution has a great deal to be gained from this effort. Literacy learning is central to the work of all of the institutions represented in this project. Working within and beyond institutional borders can help ensure that the youth are prepared for college and career and for lifelong learning. It is in the best interest of our institutions to understand our places in the entire literacy system in our community and work together to improve opportunities for all.
-- students at the institutions
The children, youth, and young adults who will be impacted by this effort will be given opportunities to practice the skills and strategies they will employ throughout their lives as they live and work in a society defined by ubiquitous access to information. They will learn how to comprehend, evaluate, analyze, and synthesize information that meets their individual needs and answers their unique questions and will master skills and strategies that will transfer to a variety of information-problem solving situations.
2. In your experience, is a group like this unique?
I am not aware of another effort like this one in our nation. We realize this is an ambitious undertaking and are determined to enjoy and learn from the journey whether or not we are successful in reaching our goals. We hope to infuse the learners and teachers at our individual institutions with this same spirit of discovery as we inquire into the best ways to impact literacy learning in our community.
3. After the book study is complete, what next steps would you like to see the group take?
The next steps are still under negotiation. One idea is to develop our expertise in the area of action research. This will allow individual librarians who are part of this initiative to ask a question that is meaningful in their particular teaching situation, study the problem and suggest interventions to solve it, collect data, and analyze the results. Each action researcher would then share her/his learning with other stakeholders impacted by the problem who would benefit from hearing the results of the study and with the DI4LL group.
While these problems and interventions may look different from the perspective of members of each institution, we believe we can learn a great deal from each other’s efforts to address literacy challenges. Through learning with and from one another, we will able better able to answer some of the pressing literacy challenges and strengthen our individual and collective communities. In the process, we will also strengthen the professionalism within our own ranks and further the critical role of librarians as information specialists, instructional partners, and leaders in the 21st century