The Making of the Modern Librarian: The Value of School Libraries – eSchool News

Posted: December 4, 2020 at 5:50 am


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A virtual reality field trip. A lesson on how to create a podcast. A tutorial on how to create a paper circuit board that uses LED lights. For a new generation of educators, these pursuits have something in common: Theyre all appropriate learning exercises that can take place in the school library. Makerspaces, or library media centers that encourage collaboration and support student invention, are on the rise across the United States.

This has always been the case, but in a prevailing learning culture that promotes outside-the-box problem solving, these activities are growing more common in the 21st-century school library. At the intersection of analog and digital learning opportunities, the value of school libraries has increased at all levels of education. And at the helm of these spaces, school librarians must negotiate how best to support students with library resources, adapt to new technological advancements in education and pass on the fundamental tenets of digital and information literacy to students.

As the U.S. public education system has evolved throughout its history, school libraries have also developed with a consistent central goal: to give students the best opportunity to succeed academically.

The Evolution of the School Library

Before school libraries would begin to morph into multimedia digital information centers, they supported student literacy-building practices by providing access to their on-site book collections. From the first plans for a school library in the United States drafted in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, school district libraries would continue to sprout across the nation during the next two centuries. By the mid-1950s, schools would adopt localized, attached libraries in which librarians are considered qualified teachers, educating both students and instructors.

The face of public education has fundamentally changed since then, through the nationwide integration of schools, the rapid progress of education technology and the academic opportunities offered to students, to name a few. Because of these dramatic changes to the world of education, the expectations and responsibilities of school library faculty have understandably seen a dramatic shift as well.

Today, school librarians are not only responsible for administering and collating their collections. Instead, librarians promote creativity and discovery in student learning by offering multimedia resources. With school libraries beginning to function as digital media centers, these tools enable students to explore new modes of thought and include:

Modern Librarian Roles and Responsibilities

With these new responsibilities, librarians now occupy a multitude of additional roles, too. The Association of College and Research Libraries, which is an organization of college educators and librarians and a division of the American Library Association, lays out the seven rolesof librarians in school systems today. The goal with highlighting these different titles librarians must take on is to conceptualize and describe the broad nature and variety of the work that teaching librarians undertake as well as the related characteristics which enable librarians to thrive within those roles.

While these roles were drafted to appeal specifically to university and college librarians, they are universal enough to be relevant to school librarians working in primary and secondary school media centers, too.

At the University of West Alabama Online, youll pursue your personal and career goals in a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, all in a flexible environment designed to fit your lifestyle. Youll also benefit from a generous credit transfer policy, affordable degrees and personal support from application to graduation.

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The Making of the Modern Librarian: The Value of School Libraries - eSchool News

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December 4th, 2020 at 5:50 am

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