Saturday, August 4, 2012

Five ‘Cs’ of librarianship


There are five areas, the “five Cs” in which librarians can empower learners with valuable 21st-century skills, according to teacher-librarian Joyce Valenza and technology integration specialist and librarian Shannon McClintock Miller.

On eSchoolnews.com, writer Michelle Luhtala summarizes these five key roles for 21st century librarians:
“Given the unprecedented quantity of information learners are exposed to, the librarian’s role is more important than ever. Librarians help all students gain access to, evaluate, ethically use, create, share, and synthesize information.”
The occasion was a presentation by Valenza and Miller during Alan November’s 2012 Building Learning Communities conference.

The  “five Cs” include:

  • Curation: Valenza and Miller stress the value of teaching learners to “purposely contribute to society’s collective intelligence.”
  • Citizenship: “Students must be taught how to publish their work for the real world, with their real identity (not anonymously), to build their digital footprint with purpose.” The benefits include greater understanding of the importance of copyright and licensing, as well as understanding what a student’s digital activity reveals about her or him.
  • Compassion: Valenza and McClintock place importance upon instilling empathy in students and empowering them to make a difference in the world.
  • Creation: “The participatory nature of 21st-century culture emboldens students to create and publish content — all kinds of content, but particularly multimedia content. Given the opportunity, students will transform work into play. .... Librarians, who have always served as matchmakers of sorts — pairing books with readers, resources with research questions, and, more recently, problems with tools to solve them — should be the “go-to person(s)” to support learners as they construct their knowledge.”
  • Connections: The article states that Miler helps her students to build personal learning networks.

My reaction to this article is that while Valenza and Miller addressed the role of school librarians,  I believe public librarians play a role in empowering life-long learners.

This role is not dissimilar to that of the information curator who works in the field of journalism. Both professions have an interest in promoting the importance of credible, reliable information. And in my current role as an editor, I emphasize the forums that are available for people to express their views.

The more sources of information that our society is exposed to, the more crucial it is to cultivate information literacy and global, cyber-citizenship.

I credit Tina Barseghian (@MindshiftKQED) with bringing my attention to this article.

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