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The Role of District Resource Centres

 

Developed by Vancouver Island and Southern Interior District Resource Centre Coordinators produced in cooperation with PIMA, (Pacific Instructional Media Association)

Mission Statement

District Resource Centres and their staffs provide students and educators with cost effective, equitable District-wide access to learning resources and services through evaluating, acquiring, managing and promoting these resources.

Rationale

District Resource Centres are well positioned to promote and facilitate the implementation of the effective use of learning resources. As the variety and format of learning resources continue to expand, there will be an increasing need to support the integration of these resources and their associated technologies with good teaching practice. Teachers will be faced with acquiring the skills needed to use a wider variety of learning resources in order to successfully integrate them into new and changing curriculums. A District Resource Centre should play an integral role in supporting student learning by providing the essential link between curriculum, school library resource centres and learning resources.

A District Resource Centre should provide the ongoing continuity needed to successfully implement new programs.

As well it plays an invaluable role in linking the curriculum to learning resource components required for effective instruction. Implementation will require the successful integration of information technology with curriculum learning outcomes and effective teaching strategies. A District Resource Centre can provide a teacher-friendly, resource-rich, environment. Given adequate budget and personnel, a District Resource Centre can support the educational programs and goals of schools, the District and the Ministry of Education.

Leadership and Liaison

District Resource Centre staff provide leadership and liaison through the development and promotion of learning resources for use across the District and at the school level.

Professional and support staff at the District Resource Centre are able to:

  • collaborate with administrators, teachers, teacher- librarians, trustees and parents to determine policies for the promotion, selection and use of learning resources;
  • advocate for the use of a wide range of print, audio-visual, digital and human resources;
  • develop short and long term goals for District Resource Centre services based on District and Ministry policies;
  • provide curriculum development and support by serving on curriculum committees and advisory groups;
  • promote District-wide policies, initiatives and programs;
  • organize staff development workshops on the acquisition and use of learning resources and technology;
  • act as a liaison with the Learning Resources and Curriculum Branches of the Ministry of Education;
  • provide resources and services to parent and community groups;
  • support curriculum development and implementation through the selection and circulation of professional materials and curriculum guides;
  • improve communications across all areas of the School District by providing a clearing house for materials and/or a publishing centre;
  • coordinate the circulation of materials with other districts and agencies;
  • promote partnerships with other educational institutions, government agencies, business, industry, and non-profit organizations; and
  • promote the use of Canadian produced learning resources.

Acquisition, Distribution and Management of Learning Resources

District Resource Centres have coordinated systems for the acquisition and distribution of learning resources that ensure cost effective and equitable access across the entire School District.

District Resource Centres develop policies and systems which:

  • provide cost effective ways to acquire learning resources which may include: a tendering process, bulk purchasing, negotiating site licences, centralized purchasing and identifying jobbers;
  • utilize current technology to augment and enhance inventory, processing and distribution of learning resources throughout the District;
  • reinforce the concept of equitable access to learning resources;
  • maintain an accurate catalogue of learning resources according to established standards;
  • develop an efficient system for circulation of centralized and school-based learning resources; and
  • ensure the most efficient distribution of learning resources throughout the District.

Evaluation and Selection of Learning Resources

A learner focused educational philosophy and the accompanying emphasis on resource-based learning has made the evaluation and selection of appropriate learning resources a vital component of curriculum implementation. Learning resources to support teaching and learning are best selected by educators at the Provincial, District and School level.

District Resource Centres:

  • provide leadership and assistance in the development of district and school-based policies, procedures and criteria for the evaluation, selection and challenge of learning resources;
  • identify, in consultation with committees, priority curricular areas for district and school-based purchasing;
  • provide information and displays of learning resources to support the selection process;
  • build a collection of bibliographic and evaluative sources to provide current information about learning resources and associated hardware;
  • foster teacher involvement in the preview, evaluation and selection of learning resources;
  • guide the development and implementation of district and school-based learning resources plans;
  • maintain a cost effective district learning resource collection to supplement school collections;
  • organize pilots and evaluation of selected learning resources;
  • organize displays of learning resources; and
  • provide inservice on the potential use of instructional technologies and learning resources.

Management of District Resource Centres

The management role provides for the administration of District Resource Centre programs, facilities, services, and staff in order that these may contribute to the stated educational goals of the District and the Ministry.

Management functions include:

  • communicating with district staff, school staff, students and the community;
  • establishing short and long range goals;
  • reporting on the District Resource Centre operations;
  • selecting, supervising and planning for the effective use of District Resource Centre professional and support staff;
  • developing District Resource Centre facilities and services to support the objectives of the K-12 Education Plan as defined by the Ministry of Education;
  • planning for efficient use of space and equipment, and for appropriate security;
  • developing and managing a budget that reflects the needs of the instructional program;
  • maintaining a current catalogue and an inventory of materials and equipment housed in the District Resource Centre;
  • providing a service-oriented environment;
  • applying technological advances to District Resource Centre and school library resource centre services;
  • involving district and school staff in the evaluation and selection of learning resources;
  • acquiring equipment that is most appropriately held and circulated through the District Resource Centre;
  • maintaining meeting and seminar rooms to meet the needs of district and school-based committees;
  • maintaining a preview area for all media formats; and
  • coordinating district ordering of resource materials.

Design and Production of Learning Resources

Media to be used within the instructional framework are determined by the requirements of learning outcomes, course content and instructional methodology. Non-print materials can be obtained from commercial sources or produced locally.

District Resource Centres can:

  • advise and assist educators in media design and production;
  • provide inservice in media design and production;
  • advise and assist students in media design and production;
  • provide inservice in media literacy education;
  • provide support services such as desktop publishing, graphic production and design, layout, reproduction, laminating, printing etc.;
  • produce learning resources such as audiocassettes, slides, photographs, transparencies, video-tapes, multimedia productions, posters, charts, kits, websites etc.; and
  • assist in the evaluation and distribution of locally produced learning resources.

Information Technology

District Resource Centre personnel have the ability to promote the use of technology and investigate new resources, technology and services involving information technology.

District Resource Centre personnel support information technology by:

  • promoting the acquisition of information skills;
  • providing expertise in the selection of educational technologies;
  • promoting the integration of current information technologies;
  • providing assistance to schools involved with technological change through support and training;
  • promoting information access to ensure equity for all students;
  • supporting library automation;
  • participating in cooperative and coordinated projects that involve information technologies; and
  • supporting innovations in information technologies.

District Resource Centre Facilities

The District Resource Centre is designed to provide the effective circulation and use of educational resources throughout the school district.

To accomplish this, the facility should:

  • be located centrally in the district to allow convenient access to teachers and staff;
  • securely house media resource collections and equipment for loan or production;
  • have a layout which facilitates browsing through media materials;
  • offer expanded hours of operation (before and after school) to enable convenient access;
  • provide space for organizing the shipping and receiving of materials and equipment to schools;
  • include space for display, preview and production activities;
  • have production equipment set up and accessible for teacher projects;
  • be equipped with phone, fax and on-line connections to facilitate communication with district schools, suppliers, Ministry and outside agencies;
  • provide an area for use in training on audiovisual and computer technology equipment and techniques;
  • house clerical staff to handle inquiries, reservations, shipping and other services;
  • provide meeting or seminar rooms that can be booked by teacher or staff groups;
  • incorporate distribution of school district mail and other communications; and
  • provide technology for requesting, reserving, shipping, cataloguing and organizing media resources.