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Beyond the Bullet Points: It is Time to Stop Trying to Save Libraries

Beyond the Bullet Points: It is Time to Stop Trying to Save Libraries
Close the crisis center. Take down the picket signs. Please proceed to un-occupy the library. It is time to stop trying to save libraries. No, this is not another bait and switch act of verbal irony about how libraries are obsolete. This is about the messages we send. Where did they get the idea that libraries are sinking? This messaging is insidious. “Best Days of Librarianship are Ahead of Us We are the Right Profession, Uniquely Positioned to Lead in the Knowledge Age However, We won’t get there Following Current Trends and with our Current Focus on ‘Recorded Knowledge’ and Buildings” It looks initially as a nice little uplifting piece of fluff, but it is really an implied threat. We must take on Google (or be like Google, or build our own Google) to save libraries! We must be on Facebook (Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, MySpace, Geocities) to save libraries! Screw that! Find a thriving library. I believe the future of libraries is bright. And I am the Goddamn Batman. Like this: Related

http://quartz.syr.edu/blog/?p=1697

Related:  edWebet52 - Pitching the libraryFuture of libraries

Working Together Is Working Smarter A new report released by the National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) reveals that school librarians are highly involved leaders playing a critical role in their schools through consistent and sustained collaboration with other educators. Additionally, school librarians not only participate in but deliver professional development to peers, educators and staff in their schools. The report, Remodeling Literacy Learning: Making Room for What Works, details key findings from a nationwide survey of more than 2,400 educators representing all grade levels and subject areas. It investigates the connection between professional learning, educator collaboration and student learning. NCLE Press Release

What Does the Next-Generation School Library Look Like? At a time when public libraries are starting to offer everything from community gardening plots to opportunities to check out humans for conversations, some school libraries are similarly re-evaluating their roles and expanding their offerings. Case in point: Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. When librarian Joan Ackroyd arrived there four years ago, she found an environment very different from the “engaging, creative, fun” elementary and middle school libraries to which she was accustomed. “Its library was none of those things,” she recalls. 10 things classroom teachers need to know about modern school librarians 1) We hate quiet. Oh, sure, the typical view of a librarian is an older woman, in a cardigan and cat-eye glasses, with a tight bun, shushing everyone who dares to make a sound. That may have been the case a long time ago, and may still be the case with some dinosaur librarians (they still exist, sorry!), but generally, librarians don’t like quiet. Quiet means that no one is collaborating. We would rather have a loud library with tables of students and teachers talking about a book, project, essay, collectible card game, what-have-you, than a library with students just sitting there reading.

School libraries face a bleak future as leaders try to balance the books I remember my school library: it had two floors with spiral staircases, individual study cubicles and a classroom on the upper floor. It was attached to the sixth form block, giving the students easy access to a study facility. One particular memory is of a Puffin Books sale – I could even tell you the books I bought (and still have). School librarians are rising school leaders “School librarians have the unique position, in school, of being school-wide and curriculum-wide—that really makes for a powerful partnership with school administrators,” said Gail Dickinson, AASL’s current president. “I think there are a lot of people who view the digital shift as a threat to librarians, and I really just think it’s a call for reinvention,” said Mark Ray, the 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year. Schools’ increased reliance on digital resources and content leads to different “thinking about the way libraries function and the ways librarians work with students and teachers.”

How Libraries Fit in the Future of Learning Back when I was in school, libraries were all about books — books, books and more books. During my frequent visits to the library, I would pore through encyclopedias and fill out countless checkout cards before heading home with a backpack full of reading material. Of course, teachers also scheduled regular media time so students could use the library’s computer pod, but technology wasn’t nearly as integral to the library experience as it is today. The advent of the digital age had a profound impact on school libraries. Expanding Internet use gave students access to academic texts from their home computers and, later, from mobile devices.

KLA/KASL Fall Conference 2014: Building Advocacy for your School Library Program As school librarians we wear many hats: book guru, manager, technology leader, instructional partner, research guide, and our very own public relations firm. In advocating for our school library programs, we must identify our stakeholder priorities, develop a mission statement that aligns with our district and school mission, develop programming that will meet the needs of our stakeholders and collect data that doesn't just represent the number of books we check out each month, but really connects to the mission of our district and demonstrates how we support student growth. In this post you will find some resources that James Allen and I shared at the KLA/KASL Fall Conference to help develop that long term, ongoing plan to really advocate for your school library program. The prezi below provides an overview of the topic with research and information from the AASL. The ThingLinked Piktochart includes some basics of advocacy and additional resources.

School Libraries and Makerspaces: Can They Coexist? More and more schools are coming to value maker education and exploring ways to create makerspaces in their schools. Many schools are discussing how they might utilize their library to facilitate this. As my school has increased our commitment to constructionist learning and maker education over the last few years, we have done so in close collaboration with our school library. In exploring the relationship between the school library and school makerspace, it's not difficult to see why conversations about the growth of makerspaces are often tied to the conversation about the future of libraries. Both makerspaces and libraries are constructivist learning spaces that share a number of common goals, while approaching them in different ways and through very different material resources. Similar Yet Distinct

School Culture and the Library In preparation for tomorrow's edweb.net/emergingtech webinar, Pitching the Library: How to Explain What School Librarians Do, I wanted to share a project one of our New Canaan High School seniors created for his documentary filmmaking class last year. His assignment was to make a video that addressed school culture. He emailed me the day before he came down to capture most of the footage. Here is an excerpt of his email: I am currently taking a Documentary Film class and our assignment is to create a film on a school "climate" Our group decided to choose the library media center as a focus for the film because when most if not all students think of the library, ... the library as enjoyable as it is. We were hoping to interview you about the library media center and factors about it.

We Need Libraries As Much As Maker Spaces – John Spencer A few weeks ago, I was at a conference when a conversation broke out about rethinking spaces in school. “What if we transformed libraries into maker spaces?” a teacher asked. “Exactly. What if we had tons of items and kids could pick and choose materials the way they used to pick and choose books?”

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