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REALITY CHECK PROJECT Esmeralda S. Calinagan LSC 203- D01 Ms. Tina Glatz May 3, 2012

Because my choice of school media centers is just limited, I picked three that are closest. One is about ten minutes away and the other two about an hour away. Another thing is they are all Department of Defense Dependent School Europe (DoDDS-E) under Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA). A little background for some who does not know what DoDDS-E and DODEA is, they are the organization that oversees the education of active military dependents from grade to secondary school. In the continental U.S., any dependents living in military posts are entitled to attend these schools. There are a lot of active military that either chose to leave off post or just waiting for an on post housing that will have to send their dependents to public school. Since my family and I are currently in Europe, my children are entitled to attend DODEA schools even though we live off post. I believe that because we are in a foreign country and American schools are limited to the ones in military posts. I interviewed two elementary school librarians and one middle/high school librarian. They are all very accommodating and very friendly. These are Illesheim Elementary in Storck Barracks, Illesheim Germany and Ansbach Elementary and Ansbach Middle/High School in Katterbach, Germany. Romy Kerstetter has a Masters degree in Library Science and is currently the school media specialist in Ansbach Middle/High School. According to Ms. Kerstetter, collaboration is easy most of the time, except when the teachers chose not to ask for her help and do their own research and projects which is not often. She did have to sometimes remind them that is what she is there for. Library promotions are done through newsletters, emails or pamphlets. There is also a community website that promotes whatever special program the school has and of course, word of mouth is also very effective and most of the times how a lot of people know what are going on in the community. Accountability for these promotions goes to both the teachers and the librarian.

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Policies and procedure for the use of the library are sent out at the beginning of the school year for parents and students to sign that they read and understand the rules and whatever punishment will be for disobeying the rules. Collection for this school is limited to books, audiobooks, and DVD. They also have 24 internet ready computers, printers that can be used for school work only and have to be approved by the librarian depending on how much and how many they need to print. Ms. Kerstetter does not make the schedule or have any set schedule, but it changes daily or weekly depending on the projects the teachers are working on with their students. Her only rule would be to let her know at least a day ahead so she wont have more than one class at a certain time. Students are also allowed to check in and use the computers by themselves during their free period or homeroom. The library is small by standard and probably as big as any classroom or two, only with shelves and computer stations. When she first applied, she had to go to DODEA to apply, but currently any job openings and applications are done through Budget can sometimes get to the school at the beginning of the fiscal year (July) and they also sometimes get residual (budget not spent) at the end of the fiscal year (June). They also occasionally get some in the middle of the school year for a specific format or subject (Ex. DVDs for Art). They can and when needed do a budget proposal, especially after weeding, to request for new materials or equipment. The other two librarians are Susan Wolfram and Joan Gushiken from Illesheim and Ansbach Elementary School respectively. As they are all Dodds-E under DODEA, they have all the same answers to my questions. The only difference is the number of internet ready computers they have in the library, but they also have the same rules regarding usage and printing privileges. Another similarity is that all these librarians have Masters degree in Library Science. They all work by themselves with the occasional volunteers; this is probably due to the fact that each school

services a very small community. Illesheim for one have only one class each grade and even have a combination class (4th/5th). That is just how small the community is. At this point, it is really unnecessary to compare the schools, but I can honestly say that if I will pick a school media to work at, it will be Illesheim, only because its the closest. They are all very nice and very accommodating. Its one of the things I noticed with DODEA school employees, they are tuned to military life and knows the hardship our children goes through with constant moving and deployment. I know this because the last school my children attended was a public school in New Mexico. Im not sure if they are like that because we are in the military or they are just normally rude and mean, but I can attest to the difference of service I got form DODEA school employees compared to the public school one. I guess thats the most interesting observation that I can find. The reality is school media specialist can be very busy and most of the times neglected. They have the resource to research anything that the teachers need for any kinds of projects and will do just that because its their job. They are more than willing and always happy to help any staff or students that needed any help in any aspect of the library. I believe that for them to be a successful or happy school media specialist, they have to be able to work with small children, temperamental parents, and independent/dependent staff.