Theme One has reinforced for me that now, more than ever, teacher-librarians are critical to the development of students’ information literacy skills. Further to this, with the school library being a central and integral part of the school, which many refer to as the “heart” or “hub”, teacher-librarians are poised to effect change, and support staff and students on a broad scale. In doing so, one must advocate for this essential role.
In Leading Learning, the Canadian Library Association states that “new technologies and evolving methods of communication and sharing drive expanding understandings of literacy” (p.17) and that school libraries have “…a leading role in assisting learners to hone and apply an expanded notion of literacy…” (p.17). With access to significantly more sources of information, students, and I would argue school staff, need assistance to broaden their definition of literacy to recognize that “the abilities to access, comprehend, use, and evaluate information have become the skills people must develop in order to function in our current world” (Riedling, p.7). Teacher-librarians are crucial in providing students with the skills to do so through reference services.
Over the course of Theme One, I feel that the concepts and my learning have come full circle in regards to the essential role of teacher-librarians in supporting information literacy. In Lesson One we were presented with several ideas regarding the impact of technology and digital information on teacher-librarians and libraries. Greater access to web resources has led some to assert that teacher-librarians are less in demand and that “…students, and some teachers and administrators, assum[e] that students need less access to the school library (Mueller, 2017), and these are incredible misunderstandings in my mind. Ann Riedling echoes this sentiment when she says that “one common misconception is that in the future there will be less dependence on the physical library media center” (p.116). The need for teacher-librarians is supported in her assertion that “information needs are growing and becoming more complex. The result is that there will be an increased need for experts, school librarians with skills…” (p.116). This section of Chapter 10 has strongly resonated with me for not only what it reinforces about the vital role of teacher-librarians in education, but also the need for advocacy in our role. We must ensure the learning community consistently knows and understands how crucial teacher-librarians and libraries are “…in providing resources and instruction for 21st-century learning” (Riedling, p.116).
Last year I created the following Powtoon which I hope to use in the future in support of advocacy to reinforce “an expanded notion” of the school library and teacher-librarians!
Austin Powers meme: Retrieved from http://blog.whooosreading.org/15-most-accurate-school-librarian-memes/, Jan. 26, 2017.
Batman meme: Retrieved from http://blog.whooosreading.org/15-most-accurate-school-librarian-memes/, Jan. 26, 2017.
Canadian Library Association. (2014). Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada. Ottawa: ON.
Riedling, A.M., Shake, L. & Houston, C. (2013). Reference skills for the school librarian: tools and tips. Santa Barbara, CA: Linworth, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC.