The mission of the New Trier High School Library program is to provide students with the information literacy skills they need to achieve maximum success at the high school level and to create lifelong learners in an ever-changing, information-rich environment.
The Library's mission is best embodied in a set of "Essential Understandings" about information literacy, developed by the library staff. The "Essential Understandings" are statements which form the core of our discipline-the skills, beliefs, and habits that we try to instill in each student who leaves our institution. Based on the American Association of School Librarians' Information Power, the New Trier Library "Essential Understandings" include:
- Independent, lifelong learning and personal satisfaction develop from an ability to access, evaluate and use information.
- The development of new knowledge and the ability to solve problems depend on accurate information.
- Equitable access to accurate information is the foundation of a democratic society.
- The ethical use of information is characterized by respect for differing opinions and backgrounds, the principles of intellectual freedom, and the intellectual property rights of others.
To accomplish our mission, each of the ten professional librarians acts as a liaison to one or more academic departments. Librarians attend department meetings, participate in curriculum planning, and take responsibility for the informational needs of the students and teachers in the departments with which they work.
Goals and Objectives
A major goal of the New Trier librarians is to make instructional resources accessible for both students and teachers. Research done through traditional print sources, periodicals, online databases, and the Internet can often be daunting, and the librarians ensure help is there when it is needed.An additional goal of the library staff is to help students develop higher level thinking skills. These skills of evaluation, analysis, and synthesis are an integral part of the research process and will enable students to choose the best materials for the task at hand and to integrate them into a paper or project.
The New Trier Library offers the following services:
- Library activities which are tailored to the needs of each class, designed cooperatively by teachers and librarians, and presented either in the library or in the classroom.
- A book collection consisting of more than 60,000 volumes. New Trier subscribes to more than 400 magazines and journals in print, online, and microform formats.
- An extensive collection of non-print materials, including ebooks.
- Online database searching (access to a variety of citations, abstracts, and full text of journal articles, dissertations, etc., using many electronic databases). Print copies are provided. Databases include Lexis-Nexis, General Reference Center Gold, ProQuest, Literature Resource Center, Chicago Tribune, and others.
- Access beyond the walls of the New Trier Library:
- electronic interlibrary loan (borrowing materials from other libraries in the system)
- magazine and journal articles not available in a local library
- answers to difficult reference questions
- Statewide Illinois Catalog and WorldCat (state and world-wide databases of library materials that may be borrowed directly and received in a few days)
- Freshman and sophomore orientations are provided.
- Junior Theme - scheduling designed to provide each student maximum access to all resources. Teams of librarians work with each class on background reading, research, correct citations, and note taking.
The professional staff is represented in the memberships of the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, the Illinois Library Association, the Illinois School Library Media Association, Illinois Computing Educators, and the International Society for Technology in Education. Members of the staff have been published in professional journals and have presented at local and national conferences.
The New Trier High School Library was named "National School Library Media Program of the Year" for the year 2000 by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association.