Sunday, September 19, 2010

School libraries keep up with emerging technology

“[S]chool libraries also share with academic libraries the responsibility for promoting information literacy” (55)
Libraries in the Information Age
by Denise K. Fourie and David R. Dowell
Library media centers appear to be particularly geared toward keeping abreast of emerging technology, which, in my opinion, would make them an excellent place to work if a library professional wanted to continually update her own information literacy.

When I remember my computer use, it was in the classroom and not at my high school library. I do remember, however, that my elementary and high school libraries gave me access to books and to newspapers.

I checked out every single one of the Fairy Book collections from my elementary school library and I spent hours looking at books that detailed the evolution of fashion particularly at costumes from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. At high school, I read a lot of the novels for young adults.

  From Library to Library Media Center
“The standards were based on the principle that media were a central part of the learning process and that if schools were to meet students’ needs, they must provide quality media programs” (57):
The Konocti Unified School District has wholeheartedly embraced technology and established library media centers at each of its school sites.

As a journalist, I’ve attended presentations in libraries at some of our campuses where video technology allowed the speaker to make his or her presentation remotely.
“Implementation of these guidelines was affected by both the educational and economic conditions” (59):
From what I’ve seen when the school districts adopted classroom forms of technology, there are some teachers who immediately embraced it and others who resisted. So it doesn’t surprise me that school library media programs did not earn unilateral acceptance. It is fortunate for library media centers that accreditation guidelines were there to give them clout!
“[T]eacher-­certified library media specialists staff the majority of library media centers. These specialists usually have either an M.L.S. degree or a master’s of educational media degree ... Some media staffs also include other professionals with varied backgrounds and experiences” (61)
I like the idea that there is room among the ranks of supportive professionals, even though I don’t have a teaching degree.

A California district’s “declaration of need for fully qualified educators” can open the doors to someone who does not have a teaching credential to act in that capacity, so perhaps a library associate’s degree can earn the same advancement if an MLS is not available. Or is that just wishful thinking?
“These results would appear to provide powerful ammunition to secure increased resources for school library media centers; however, that outcome is yet to be achieved in the political arena.” (64)
The e­mail dispatch that was sent this week from urges recipients to call their Congressional representatives and tell them to fund the Library Services and Technology Act at $300 million for the coming fiscal year. Efforts like this demonstrate an ongoing need for advocacy about the importance of libraries.

Composed for Cuesta College’s LIBT 101: Introduction to Library Services

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