Thing 5 RSS Feeds Wow! Why do schools need libraries?

I am sure that every week will bring new revelations in this Web 2.0 course. RSS Feeds-amazing! I can certainly see how one can spend hours going from one blog to another, and one link to another. (for those of us who have no life outside of the computer)

One of the blog articles that caught my eye was Doug Johnson’s “Whither Libraries? Why do schools need libraries in the age of the internet?” “The Essential Question” The role of the school library has changed so much since the age of the internet and internet research has become the way of the world. I found the responses to Doug Johnson’s question quite intriguing and thought-provoking.

Here is a sampling of a few of the comments from people that were worth considering-many of these ideas are things that we media specialists are doing-we just need to get the good word out to the faculty and staff where we work. The students in my school can use computers in the Media Center as well as in the Computer labs.

-“Students need places to hang out and/or work that are not classrooms.” (Kenn Gorman) THOUGHT-let’s make the Media Center a place where students can come to collaborate on projects on and off the computer.

“My middle school media center is a buss of activity, a place where print and non-print sources are used in research, where projects increasingly integrate web 2.0 collaborative tools and other technology, where students hone information literacy skills. This would not be happening if there was no library media specialist making sure this happened and no library. Perhaps we should change the name of libraries to library lab. I think it would be a better describe of what takes place in a good 21st century library.” (Beverly Rannow) THOUGHT:  I would love to get more middle school students at my school back in the Media Center and not just have them in the computer lab and in their middle school spaces upstairs in our Middle School.

-“We need librarians to teach students how to be critical users of information.” (David Warlick 5/13/09) THOUGHT:  I touched on this in another blog post-sure-our kids can access the internet-but can they do it effectively to retrieve accurate, useful information? That is our job and in my school also the job of the computer instructor-to teach them how to do that!

-“My library is not a passive depository of space. It is the heart of our campus, and I am a teacher librarian technologist (from a high school media specialist)” (Jeanne Swedo 5/13/09) THOUGHT: The library is not just the storage place for books-let’s make it a place students come to for a variety of reasons-to work together on projects on the computer, read a book, etc. Our media center needs to work on this concept for sure.

-“A big issue is that our fellow teachers do not always know the best methods or sources for information retrieval. We need to work with them so they see all of the possibilities and can transfer that to the assignments they require of students. ” (L.Hardin 5/14/09) THOUGHT: We need to sell our services to our faculty.

“At the same time, I think “the library” can take many forms. Books on a cart, the OPAC available everywhere in the building and at home, the librarian teaming with teachers to prepare, teach, and evaluate a project … there are so many more ways to interact. The library is NOT just a room but a service. It should be anywhere and everywhere to support students and staff. “(L..Hardin 5/14/09) THOUGHT: Media Specialists need to think outside the box. The media specialist is a service provider, not just the purchaser of books. I know we have gotten that concept somewhat in place in our school-now we just have to get all of our faculty to pull on our knowledge and expertise.

What about working to instill a love of reading in students? Sure the reference section is outdated – any reference book is probably outdated before it hits the bookstore shelves – but fiction isn’t going anywhere, is it? (e.g. Kindle, audio books). Despite the encroachment of technology on reading for pleasure – there is nothing like finishing a good book. “(Brian Brown 5/15/09) THOUGHT: This is one of my goals. I know we are working with a generation of digital natives but that does not mean that we have to give up on the concept of reading books for pleasure. I think there is still a place for the reading of fiction in our current technological society!

The list goes on and on but I need to move to our next skill, so connect to Doug Johnson’s blog for further thoughts on this subject!

One thought on “Thing 5 RSS Feeds Wow! Why do schools need libraries?

  1. Doug Johnson is definitely one of the gurus that I follow. He generally has something worth reading and listening to carefully. Sounds like many comments gave you something to think about and ways to move the media center forward.

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