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Thank you so much for responding to my plea for help.  I had posted a note
on LM_NET asking for advice on flexible scheduling.  I was amazed at the
number of people who responded and how quickly they responded.  It was
appreciated.  I also had several people to ask me to post a >Hit when I
finished.  I am posting copies of all the responses I received. They were
very helpful to me.  Thanks again.  Laverne

 Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 17:01:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Pamela J. Tinker" <pjtinker@mailbox.syr.edu>
        I have a completely flexible schedule in a Readiness -Grade Five
elementary school library.  I love it, though it is more work for me than
rigid scheduling.  Teachers love it once they understand that this is not
something they are doing for you, it is an adjustment in scheduling for
the benefit of their students.  In fact, I can find no
educationally sound justification for rigid scheduling unless you count
teacher planning time!
         I started with the upper grades and introduced it
as a means to allow their students to complete a research project in less
time.  It meant that they could sign up to bring their class as many
times a week (or a day) as was necessary to complete the assignment.  I
gradually let primary grade teachers know that their scheduling of the
facility for book exchange could not be booked until my "teaching
schedule requirements" were met.  Then I allowed them to schedule
whenever they found an open slot in the schedule.  I hastily told them
that they were always welcome to send students in small groups at anytime
it was convenient for them.
        The major benefit to flexible schedluing as I see it is that
instruction can be planned to meet the needs of both class assignments
and individual interests of students at a time which is meaningful to
them.  They learn to use the card catalogue or OPAC the first time they
need to locate a book by a means other than browsing.  They learn to use
various references at a time when either their personal needs or the
parameters of a class assignment require them to use them.
        We have more students engaged in research for the sake of
learning, more students using the library resources for meaningful
activities, more enthusisam toward self-directed learning, more students
assisting other students,and teachers who are excited to teach such
enthusiastic students!
        If there is a down side, it is that I am so busy all the time!  I
am helping students, planning with teachers wherever and whenever we
can.  I am guide and facilator--no longer the teacher of "library skills"
forgotten as soon as the unit ends.  The greatest compliment has come
from our Middle School teachers who tell me how much better prepared our
students are now to tackle the demands of their research units.
        We have really moved into learner-directed, resource-based
instruction ...AND I LOVE IT!  Can you tell? :-)  Sorry to bend your ear
(or eyes) so long!

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 20:05:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: DAISYP3027@cobra.uni.edu
Laverne, After two years in a K-5 media center I wanted to try flex schedule.
But had to compromise.  We still have regularly scheduled classes for K-3.  But
4 & 5 are flex.  After two years I was able to identily several unite that each
class did that would lend themselves to an integrated unit. For example the 5th
grade did a unit on Black Americans.  I talked with the teacher and showed her
how we could work together on this unit to teach about biographies and use of
the vertical file (we had extensive collection of info on people in the VF).
This worked well.  I did have to go to every teacher with an idea for an
integrated unit based on what I had observed them doing in the past.  They
never came to me.  But all were very willing to let me teach their kids
something that they thought they had to teach.  I still have to remind them
that I will be happy to do this if they have any suggestions.  But still "pull
teeth" to get them to come to me.  Be pacient. and  Good Luck

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 21:16:49 -0500 (CDT)
From: Sandy Scroggs <sandyscr@tenet.edu>
It is a difficult process to get started.  Basically, you are going to
have to go to the grade levels and sell your library in an area that you
can guarantee success.  You can not wait for teachers to come to you with
the idea of integrating library into their lessons.  You must prepare
well for the battle--have suggestions for each grade level and have the
support of your principal.  I asked to be included in the grade level
planning sessions this past year.  I had one meeting with one grade that
I specifically called.  This year I am requesting that the principal
require a meeting between me and grade level or at least grade chair.
I do believe that once the adjustment is made (a rather slow process)
teachers would never dream of going back to fixed scheduling.

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 22:28:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Ann W. Snyder" <mstawsx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>
We're lucky in Decatur (Georgia) because flexible scheduling is the
norm, not the exception.
> What works best?  What doesn't work?  What about
teachers who do not cooperate?
It works best for me to put a plan book out in the media center and for
teachers to sign up for time (my time, not the media center time) for
whatever they want done.  With the lower grades, it's often a story time,
and with the upper grades it's research lessons or research assistance or
book talks or whatever.  I put forms in the teachers' mail boxes every
week or so for them to tell me what they are studying and what I can help
with.  Then I know the general themes they might be following so that I
can gear my stories to their topics or so that I can pull materials to
help them out.
There are vast differences in how teachers respond to flexible
scheduling.  I'm in a very small school, with only one teacher per grade,
although we are expanding this coming year and will have two extra
classes.  (We're K-5).  The 2nd grade teacher hardly comes down at all,
even though I ask her often when she's coming, etc.  The 4th grade
teacher is a model at using my resources and at cooperative planning with
me.  The 5th grade teacher would like me to babysit more often than not,
but we're working on bringing him around.  The 3rd grade teacher is a
great reading cheerleader and likes me to do book talks.  She got into
research at the end of the year and we worked together very well.
> Do you really like it better than fixed scheduling?  What
> are the benefits?
Yes, I like flexible scheduling much better.  I was a classroom teacher
back in the days when we used fixed scheduling, and now that I'm a media
specialist in the age of flexible scheduling, I see the media center
being used so much more than it was in the past.  The media center is
always open to students and teachers, whereas in fixed scheduling, it
seemed that the center was closed to everyone but the class that was in
there.  I have students dropping in for questions or to check out books
all day long.  It is really available "at point of need."  I'm much
busier than I remember the fixed schedule specialist to have been, but
I'd much rather be inundated with excited students than to sit in my
office twiddling my thumbs.
Are you in Georgia (uga?).
Good luck.  I hope I've helped.  There are a number of good articles out
there on the subject.

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 1994 22:52:49 -0700
From: bfiehn@lps.esu18.k12.ne.us (Barbara Fiehn)
I have used flexible scheduling for most of my 20 year career.  Only we
didn't always call it that.  I've done fixed schedule too.  There is no
comparison, flex has all the benefits.
Send me a postal address and I'll send you stuff.  There are gobs of
articles.  Check the reader's guide.
I have currently had a flex schedule for 4 years.  Be ware if done
correctly this means you will be more busy but it is good business.
Administrative support is imparative.  I have one teacher out of 21
classroom teachers who will not support the program,  I don't care any
more.  Her kids miss out on a wonderful thing but it's only for one year.
I'm in a hurry right now but will write longer and detail later. Also will
pick up some references at school in the morning.


Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 23:45:36 -0500
From: GAIL_SMITH@cpsnet2.cps.edu
X-Mailer: MAGPIE Inline Mailer [Version 0.9 CPS]
Please summarize your results.  I am undergoing the same transition
with teacherw who are willing to try, (sort of....) but are convinced
that the parents will not accept it.  I think that is just a code for
the fact that if that woman in the library doesn't have a whole class of
kids in her face all day, then the teachers are not being treated
fairly.  They have been very supportive of the general iodea of the
program, so mayabe I am just being oversensitive, but I would welcome
any information that  you could summariza.  Thanks

Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 23:54:59 PDT
From: kponsfor@cln.etc.bc.ca (Ken Ponsford)
My experience is that some teachers thrive on flexible scheduling, and some
never darken the doors of the library unless they have a
regularly-scheduled time.  Work with your clientele--be flexible for the
flexibletachers but slot regular times for those who prefer it.

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 09:59:36 -0500 (CDT)
From: Michelle Larose <mlarose@minet.gov.mb.ca>
Hi Laverne,
        In my library, on a cycle of 48 time slots, 13 are fixed and the
rest is flexible.  You are right in saying that some people are not
interested.  However, some of these may change their minds when they see
the wonderful things that other people are doing with you.  And the rest,
they are lost anyway, so don't worry about them, but do feel sorry for the
students and hope to catch the students on future years.(hope this doesn't
sound callous, but there is only so much you can spend your energies on)
        I prefer flexible scheduling for research because I work in
blocks.  Over a 3 or 4 cycle time period, I might see a class for 4 double
periods per cycle.  So we can work in depth and concentrated.  Of course
the disadvantage is that you can only see about 3 groups concurently, and
not see them again till much later in the year.  You hope that the
teachers carry on the skills that you instill, and make sure you tell the
teachers that you will be available to resource with them if they get in a
        So once again, decide which is more important: working in depth
for a concentrated time period, or seeing the students regularly, but for
short time stints where you may not accomplish so much (you probably have
to review constantly as they forget from one time to the next)
Hope this helps,

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 11:07:36 -0500 (CDT)
From: Susan Pfluger Schmidt <sschmidt@tenet.edu>
Laverne, I'm in a district (Round Rock ISD in central Texas, near Austin)
that encourages flexible scheduling.  We have some elementary schools
that are very advanced in this area and others where we are still
struggling.  I use flexible scheduling with 3-5th grades.  I have
scheduled story time with Pre-K - 2nd grades.  Students can come to the
library at any time to check out new books, even every day.  I discourage
whole class checkout for the upper grades.  I try to plan with the upper
grades as to what lessons I can present in correlation to what they are
teaching in the classroom.  I have been moderately successful, but I'm
determined that this will work.  Yes, I do have some teachers who don't
want to switch paradigms, but I keep working on them.  I hated the fixed
schedule because the students were not retaining what I was trying to
teach them.  This year, I'm going to target some teachers that I work
well with and use them as shining examples of what flexible scheduling
and planning can do. sschmidt@tenet.edu

Date: Wed, 29 Jun 1994 15:33:14 -0700
From: bfiehn@lps.esu18.k12.ne.us (Barbara Fiehn)

You may want to read the following, they have been purchased for each of
our media centers
Krimmelbein, CHOICE TO CHANGE, 0872875881
Turner, HELPING TEACHER TEACH, 0872874567
While not really on flexible scheduling, they are helpful in the part that
makes flexible scheduling valuable, cooperative planning and integrated
library media programs.
I have a small packet of things to send you.  I did a flexible scheduling
workshop last January for a regional conference.


Date: Thu, 30 Jun 94 06:21 EDT
From: ml05451@llwnet.ll.pbs.org (Roy H. Mann)
Newsgroups: schl.sig.lmnet
Organization: WNET / PBS Learning Link, New York, NY
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]

Flexible scheduling works for me.  It allows me to service the entire school
community.  Our school has 1500+ students in over 60 classes.  I am the only
librarian.  I start each year with orientation to every English/Language
Arts class.  I make appointments with any teacher during the school year.  I
have usually three open lunch periods, where students get passes from the
library in the morning to come during their lunch periods.  I usually teach
20 to 25 classes per week, which includes open lunch periods.  Flexible
scheduling allows me time to work with most teachers.  Yes, there are some
that do not sign up.  I seek them out.  I have found that teachers who are
pleased with our working relationship are my best advertisers.  Designing
units and projects with teachers help them better utilize the facility and
resources.  Without such planning, how can any school community maximize
their information resources?  This also reinforces the school media center
as a school-wide resource for all members of the school community.

From: ESTABROK@slab.unt.edu
Organization:  UNT Library & Information Sciences
Date:          Thu, 30 Jun 1994 12:45:30 CST6CDT
Laverne -- this is a subject of great interest to me also.  I have
just started my first library job at an elementary school in Dallas
(in April, 94).  I inherited a traditional schedule in which I saw 44
classes per week.  This summer I have been researching for one of my
LIS classes the topic of flexible scheduling.  The most helpful
resource I have found so far is Jan Buchanan's book, The Flexible
Acces Media Center (title may not be exact) available from Libraries
Unlimited.  I cannot offer any personal suggestions but would
appreciate your forwarding any helpful replies you get on this
Judy Estabrook

Date: Thu, 30 Jun 1994 14:06:09 -0500 (CDT)
From: Monique Turcotte <turcotte@minet.gov.mb.ca>
Dear Laverne,
We've been preaching the god of flexible scheduling for a number of years
and gained many converts.  Ken Haycock has written a doctorate
dissertation not to mention innumerable articles.  His research findings
can be found in a variety of books, on ERIC as well as The Emergency Librarian
(It's his periodical!).
Good Luck!

Date: Fri, 01 Jul 1994 14:31:18 -0500 (EST)
From: OXENFELD@iris.uncg.edu
Organization: University of NC at Greensboro
Good for you! I've had flex access for 2 years. I'm in a PreK-5
school and LOVE it. It is much more eeffective than fixed scheduling.
My program is based on the belief that media skills and even literature,
though not every single story, is more relevant to the child when it is
integrated in the curriculum. Therefore, planning with teachers
must take place before they are scheduled to come to the Media
Center. It also recognizes that we do other things besides teach.
Teaching is only 1/6 of my job description. I see more independent use of
the Media Center by students. On the best days, there are many activities
going on at once in the MC. We still have a ways to go. It takes 4-6 years
to fully implement a program. And not everyone likes it. It takes
time and you MUST have administrative support. Buchanan's book is
great. Good luck. Also, a "support group" of others who are or have
taken the plunge is great. Libby Oxenfeld   Oxenfeld@iris.uncg.edu

Date: Sat, 2 Jul 94 00:34 EDT
From: rgilbert@llwmht.ll.pbs.org (Ruth Gilbert)
Newsgroups: schl.sig.lmnet
Organization: PBS Learning Link
X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL2]
Yes, I have begun to use flexible scheduling and it is the best way to go.  I
started by convincing just a couple of teachers to try it with me and the
next year I convinced a few more.  I then targeted at least one teacher per
grade level (3-6) and have been satisfied with the way things are going.
Now other teachers are asking me how we can work a different schedule.  It
is a lot more work but much more satisfying to teach library skills at point
of need and be involved with classroom projects in a real way.  I still
schedule my K-1 classes and some of the flexed teachers still keep a 15
minute book exchange time each week but they come and stay with their class
and so they are much more aware of what books are being borrowed.  This
coming year I will begin to work with the 2nd grade teachers.  They have
been the most resistent.   The key is to find the planning time and I
created a 2 week calendar for myself as a check to be sure I am meeting with
teachers.  I also send out a form at the beginning of each month asking what
kinds of activities they are going to be involved in.  That gives me the
info I need to present ideas for collaboration.   Time, of course, is the
biggest problem---but then isn't it always.   I'd be happy to share anything
else with you.   Good luck.       Ruth

Date: Sat, 02 Jul 1994 19:12:48 -0500 (CDT)
From: Carolyn.Haney@uni.ed
Laverne, I am a K-6 school library media specialist at Valley Park Elementary
School in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  We use flexible scheduling and love it!  Two
years ago the voters in Cedar Falls passed an instructional levy which made it
possible for the very first time to have full-time school library media
specialist in every elementary school.  It was a wonderful time to present
flexible scheduling to the teachers.  The school district was totally behind
the Eisenberg/Berkowitz Big Six Skills and we use that method in my school.  I
explained to the teachers that I would be working with them as they planned
units and would probably end up having their classes more times in the media
center for flexible scheduling than they were used to, with scheduled weekly
classes.  My teachers are thrilled!  The media center use has grown by leaps
and bounds.  Every year it gets better!

Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 01:39:40 -0500 (CDT)
From: Linda Sue York <lsyork@tenet.edu>
There are a couple of books on the market about this. I forget the titles
but think they are published by Libraries Unlimited. If I find titles
later, I will send them. I have rigid scheduling except Fri. which is
open and I plan speakers, special events, field trips then.


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