Just read this article from American Libraries about Buffy Hamilton’s and Roxanne Johnson’s library at Creekview High School in Georgia:
This is the direction I’d like to go. It feels overwhelming at the moment to think that we could ever get to this point. But I want students, teachers and parents alike to see the possibilities what a library can be today, and not the library we grew up with, are familiar with, and in some ways have stopped thinking about because we’ve “been there, done that.” There is far too much “oh yeah, a library, I know what they do there – not for me” going on. I have wondered a lot about this – whether the mind’s eye scene of a quiet library with lovely books and the librarian as a paragon of order and control is comforting to some, and hard to give up. There is a predictability that can be desirable in that paradigm.
Some bits from the article I particularly liked:
“When Friday morning arrives, the students are excited for their library session. They anticipate how they might use their cell phones. The librarian draws their attention to a Smart board and demonstrates how they can text to it. This technology enables them to submit answers simultaneously, fueling the class discussion. With a grand gesture, the librarian has transformed their social devices into instruments of learning.”
“Not only are the students excited about the library, but the faculty is buying in too. Last year Hamilton and Johnson collaboratively planned 100 lessons with teachers. A successful strategy has been to meet with a group of teachers of a particular subject and develop assignments together. This helps to cultivate relationships and positions the librarians as full members of the teaching team.”
I’m thinking of ways we can move in this direction without making it necessary for people to give up the more “comforting” memories of the libraries of the past.