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How can I "fix" a content-area research project?

I am looking for suggestions to make a research project conducted by Jr. & Sr. English/Social Studies teachers flow more smoothly for the library. The classes come in for a week in order for students to gather materials. Per the classroom teacher, book checkouts are not permitted as topics tend to overlap; therefore, past practice has been for the students to mark the pages they "think" they might need, hand the book over to my aide who photocopies the pages for them, which leaves her standing at the copy machine for about 2 days straight. This was my first experience with this "system", which I was not happy with (I inherited it). Hoping to make some changes for next year, I asked the teachers why it is done this way and if there could there be an easier way. I was told this is the way it has always been done, and they truly feel this is the best way. I don't agree. A book cart in the classroom was my first thought, but each grade level has more than one person teaching, which makes that a little difficult. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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I just wanted to say WOW:

Wow.

Good luck with that.
i have a personal copy machine (table top) and allow the students to copy what they need within reason

what happened to note taking skills?
I guess they are taking notes from the copies that are made for them...
Juniors and Seniors should be able to be copy what they need; the process is already tedious enough without adding more steps. Remind students that resources are limited and that they should only be copying what they need. "Print what you need, but use what you print." If you let them just mark what they "think" they need, and leave it for somebody else, there's no motivation to be selective...like when I would have 30 cents at the college library copier and would have to decide which 6 pages I really needed. BTW, it hasn't "always" been done that way -- they weren't photocopying 30 years ago; the practice must have started at some point! It's time for change!
We deal with this overlapping of topics, too, and what seems to work is having the students build a reserve collection to be shared. After all topics are verified, students with unique topics can borrow more specific books while the more general topics are kept handy for all to use. Fortunately, the students are given appropriate class time to do a lot of notetaking in the library, and we make copies here and there as needed. It's not overwhelming because it's done on an "as needed" basis. Perhaps the issue of tougher economic times can be used with your teachers to make a change?

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