When I talk to the media specialists in our area, they often mention they enjoy listening to and following Joyce Valenza. So I figured it would be great for me to attend this session…especially since I don’t have any librarian-type experience. I hope to gain a little insight and perspective that might help our local media specialists take advantage of new tools in a way that makes sense to media specialists…not just myself.
There are a total of six people up on stage…I didn’t realize this was going to be a panel-type presentation…but now that I see the session description I guess that’s exactly what it is.
What does School Library 2.5 look like? School librarians should be the School CIO…Chief Information Officer. Librarians need to access information differently…school libraries lend all kinds of stuff…flash drives, laptops, whatever. Librarians want students to access databases, but the databases aren’t easily useable by students. There are no widgets, RSS feeds, tools. Collection of materials now includes the published work of students as well as archiving student/teacher images.
Tools for professional development. One thing that she learned as she was leading sessions at librarian gatherings was that she was preaching to the choir. So she began to focus on teachers at the “science” conference, “reading” conference, “middle school” conference, etc. The connections she’s made in these other groups have allowed her to continue to reach out and bring the message of stretching boundaries to others. Cathy views herself as the bridge.
How can a 2.5 librarian work with administrators? Many librarians may feel like the library is the lost continent…that the principal doesn’t know what could/should happen in the library. However, perhaps it’s a marketing mistake by the librarian. Does the librarian know what the mission of the principal is? How can librarians be change agents? Librarians need to be advocates…for student first of all. That’s really the mission of the school.
How to be popular with your principal…
- Share, share, share. Find out how they learn info best, and use 2.0 tools to get that information to them
- Be there. Be at meetings, committees, etc.
- Be a partner, not a judge.
- Share success stories.
- Think of yourself as the corporate librarian supporting the administration.
Libraries at not just for information, but innovation! Focus on the big picture, not just the library. By partnering with the administration librarian makes themselves indispensable.
Diane considers herself a technology new-comer. She is going to focus on how to reel in those who aren’t in the choir. It’s important that librarians try not to take teachers out of their comfort area, but expand the possibilities of what they already doing. New users need to feel comfortable, relaxed. Librarians need to reassure teachers, using familiar vocabulary that new learners can identify with. Help them narrow the choices of the many tools that will work for them. Librarians need to get out of the library to be with teachers as they implement their new skills. Encourage life-long learning and celebrate success.
At the secondary level, librarians often get stuck in a rut teaching researching skills, not reading. One of the missions should be to help kids develop a love of learning. Anita highlighted the vast online resources for supporting and extending a popular series of books by Stephenie Meyer. There are forums, playlists, MySpace groups, extended content etc. What Anita has done is to use these tools to connect students to other great titles. Her Reading 2.0 wiki explores “Using Technology to Promote Books – Not Replace Them!” It looks like a great resource.
What’s unfortunate about this whole session is that each of these panelists could have/should have presented an entire session themselves. Each of them contributed great ideas, but very quickly! I’m glad I attended and hope to bring some of their innovative ideas back to our local CIOs…