The school library collection in the context of teaching and learning and the digital environment
What would a library be if it didn’t have books? Of course school libraries need to be relevant and up-to-date facilities for young people but surely print and digital resources complement each other. As long as the information the collection provides is current, of high quality and of interest then all resources can live in total harmony.
Although I am thoroughly opposed to guns I also liked the idea of Lowe’s (2001) Gun analogy and will try to model the rifle approach rather than the shot gun approach to budgets and resourcing for the curriculum.
When searching to find at least one other definition of collection management relating to school libraries I found one by John Kennedy (2006) which defines the phrase ‘collection management’ to be “concerned with a set of interrelated library activities focusing on a selection, acquisition, evaluation, preservation and deselection (weeding) of library materials. (Kennedy, J. P.1)
Kennedy’s definition is closely related to the ones listed in module one. Both view collection management as an ordered process and specify that all resources should fit for purpose and maximise learning outcomes.
Module One Reading Responses
Reading: Johnson, D. (2010). Libraries for a post-literate society. Connections Issue 72, pp. 1-2
This article as an educator raised alarm bells for me, ‘Warning, Warning, Warning’!
The article states that recent studies show that reading is declining, yet it does not state what studies or where this sweeping statement derives from. If it is true and reading is actually declining then it leaves me in a state of distress.
It also discusses the notion of a post-literate society as one ‘wherein multimedia technology has advanced to the point where literacy, the ability to read written words, is no longer necessary’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postliterate_society, Aug. 10, 2008). Blaming the introduction of technology as a reason why young people no longer need to read.
I thoroughly disagree with Johnson (2010) when he states Education and librarianship have a current bias toward print. Couldn’t the same be said to Johnson and his bias towards “post-literacy”. I believe that both print and digital resources can complement each other, can work together in harmony, rather than choosing one over the other.
I also disagree with Johnson’s statement that the ability to read words is no longer necessary. I certainly agree with the incorporation and importance of multimedia resources but I personally feel that the ability to truly understand and in turn put into action what students have learned begins with a knowledge and comprehension of the written word. Multisensory communication accompanied by a strong reading ability is the way forward.
Reading: Mitchell (2011) Resourcing 21st century online Australian Curriculum: The role of school libraries, FYI Autumn 2011, pp. 10-15.
With the implementation of the new Australian curriculum TL’s are looking at what resources they will need to help facilitate fellow teachers and students. A school library collection needs to broaden perspectives. It should deliver resources that meet curriculum needs and consist of a variety of resources, including high touch and high tech resources that maximise student engagement.
In order to achieve a well-rounded collection TL’s must;
- Know there community
- Make the most of existing resources
- Facilitate access to all curriculum resources
- Get into the helicopter – keep an ever watchful eye on the horizon, look at the curriculum from a holistic perspective.
- Provoke engagement and conversation
Reading: Hill, R. (2012). ‘All aboard! Implementing Common Core offers school librarians an opportunity to take the lead,’ School Library Journal, 58.4 (Apr. 2012): p26.
The fact TL’s were not even consulted or asked to participate in drafting new bench marks for the arts and literacy for American K-12 schools is insulting. It sadly shows that the true worth and educational value that TL’s provides is overlooked and easily dismissed.
Unfortunately TL’s need to occasionally toot your own horn. Prove you have the expertise as well as relevant resources in your library to make a difference. Collaboration is the key as well as a well-resourced collection.
Reading: Grantham, C. (2007). Virtual library: e-ssential. Access, 21(3), 5.
This article discusses the importance of a well organised virtual library. Libraries today as stated by Gunn(2002) can occur in both a physical and virtual space.
Elements essential to the successful application of a virtual library within the school library are;
Search tools/Electronic data pages
Library catalogue link
Bibliographic and citation guides
Research Guides – handouts, rubrics
You can easily harness a student’s enthusiasm for learning through the incorporation of ICT technology into the school library. It is imperative these resources are of high quality and that information literacy skills are not ignored.
Reading: Johnson, D. (2007). Managing the intangible: Digital resources in school libraries. Library Media Connection, 26(1), 46-49.
This article provided a checklist for TL”s to meet the digital resource needs of their own schools. This was provided through a resource management list.
Resource Management Tasks
- Needs Assessment/Collection Development
- Promotion and display
- Cataloguing, circulation and control
A successful collection only occurs when the resources within the collection are user focused. This checklist can be used to not only meet user needs but also specifically target particular grades, levels or topics. Regular checking of the collection will also ensure it remains up-to-date and relevant
Reading: Johnson, D. (2002). Print and electronic library resources. School libraries in Canada, 21(4), 5.
I loved this article it highlights how digital and print resources can work in peaceful harmony. The conspiratorial reaction from his son when he thinks no one else could possibly know about the treasure trove of print resources made me lol.
As Johnson(2002) states good TL’s understand how a collection of different resources can be used for different purposes and how these resources can complement each other.
I found the analogy of adding technology to the library like adding a new store to a strip mall rather true. Both would certainly experience more traffic and a higher number of users. Digital and print resources have their place. While used differently each are still effective, both enhance student understanding and create vital resource combinations.
Reading: Loertscher, D.V. (2002). Digital and elastic collections in school libraries: A challenge for school library media centres. School libraries in Canada, 21(4), 3.
Creating a library media centre portal will help to guide students through the vast array of information thrown at them by Google and other search engines. By changing the physical environment of the library you can enhance your educational space. Strong collection development skills are also essential to further your library’s collection success.
Digital library’s can respond almost instantly to our demands but can be expensive so budgets should be consulted when choosing essential elements of the school digital collection.
Reading: Lowe, K.R. (2001). Resource alignment: Providing curriculum support in the school library media center. Knowledge Quest, 30(2).
Lowe refers to resource alignment as the process of aligning SLMC resources to the curriculum covered by each grade or level. The article highlights six major steps in the resource alignment process;
- Assessing resources
- Discarding unwanted materials
- Identifying curriculum gaps
- Prioritise a list of required curriculum resources
- Write a 3-5 year resource development plan
- Define a budget to acquire the needed resources
It is essential to reassess the plan every year in order to adjust for curriculum changes and shifting priorities. Resource alignment is certainly time consuming but it is a great way to ensure that students are provided with the best types of resources.
Developing collections to support teaching and learning
Reading: e-resources : a taster of possibilities (2010). Scan, 29(4), 30-43
The article e-resources: a taster if possibilities, sheds light on how Teacher Librarians successfully select appropriate resources for their library collection. It comments on the need for TL’s to appraise the quality of the plethora of resources at their fingertips. By correctly appraising the resource a TL will ultimately ensure a balanced library collection. Decisions about what to add to the collection are reached through teaching strategies and selection tools like resource reviews. Links4learning can also help to confirm resource selections.
With the emergence of e-books it is clear that TL’s need to provide quality e-resources to ensure teaching and learning needs are meet, to ensure texts are engaging and to ensure a wide range of balanced resources has been achieved.
The article also discussed a variety of digital based resources that can be accessed by students to further their learning and development. One particular resource mentioned was JSTOR, founded in 1995, it’s a digital archive that hold thousands of academic journals and publications that could be used by all students but is especially useful for senior students. Especially when undertaking research projects. Questia online library was also great for senior students.
Reading: Foley, C. (2012). Ebooks for leisure and learning. Scan, 31(4), 6-14.
This reading discussed the findings of a study conducted by 22 NSW schools and Softlink Australia. The aim of the study was to look at e-books for learning and leisure and highlight any learning, teaching and technical issues involved in incorporating e-books into the school environment.
The outcome of the study revealed both students and staff thoroughly enjoyed being able to access the wide variety of e-books. Students seemed more engaged in their reading and were stimulated to read more through the e-book introduction. Having access to the library 24/7 meant students, teachers and parents could also continue to read outside school hours.
The question of funding was not discussed in the article which I feel is an essential issue to have raised. It’s fine to highlight that students love using digital technology however it’s not always realistic to think that all schools will have the budget to afford e-books and e-book readers for teacher and student use.
Reading: Williams, I. D. (2002). Ensuring quality in the collection of free internet based resources for Australian schools. Access, 16(3), 27-30.
This article stresses the importance of “High Quality Assurance”; resources that fit for the needs of the user. A way to mark each resource to determine high quality is to develop a scope statement. Scope statements cover the type of resource, the audience the resource is suited to and the subject of the resource. The ensure quality material selection and help TL’s ‘weed out’ any irrelevant material. Particular headings that can be used on a scope statement are;
Acceptable Types of Resources
Acceptable Sources – i.e. educational, Government sites
Acceptable Levels of Difficulty
Advertising – is it appropriate, acceptable
Teacher librarians must take greater care when considering free online resources as web pages are not necessarily edited or reviewed. Sites can also be biased, push products or can seek to deliberately deceive the reader.
Reading: Boon, L. (2008). “I want it all and I want it now!”. The changing face of school libraries.
This article comments on the changing landscape of the traditional library which was once full of books but is today cluttered with computers and depleting shelves. It also acknowledges NextGen students want it all and they want it immediately. Although they live in a connected world I believe that NextGen’s don’t necessarily know how to find it all. They may be tech savvy but do they really poses the skills to successfully navigate a search engine to find reliable and useful information suited to their purpose?
TL’s need to be more tech savvy as well as fellow educators. Guidance and training is required to develop educator’s skills to match the technological levels of their students.
This article provides the reader with ways to incorporate e-books and laptops into everyday learning situations. When considering the pros and cons of including e-resources in your school library catalogue Tl’s should consider;
Engage and support student learning
Books are cheaper to purchase
Ease of use – i.e. Technical problems.
Reading: 7 Things you should know about social content curation (2011) Educause
With the plethora of information available to us at the touch of a button TL’s have a responsibility to select information that has first been filtered or curated. Curation is referred to in this article as the ‘correction, display and labelling of information’.
The article also highlights online based tools that assist resource curation are; Pinterest, Scoop.it., Learnist, Tumblr, Storify and EduClipper. These tools help to group content, provide tags are quick to access and can be easily shared. Questions of copyright however are raised when the information can be cut and pasted and passed onto others so easily.
Reading: Jenkinson, D. (2002). Selection and censorship: It’s simple arithmetic. School libraries in Canada, 21(4), 22.
This article acknowledges the importance of selecting appropriate resource materials for school collections minus censorship. It highlights that the most difficult censorship to detect is that of our own or of others close to us because self-censorship is often at times invisible.
In regards to Resource Links the article also suggests as a way of riding ourselves of self-censorship some resources links have considered adding statements such as the presence of certain topics that may lead to a de-selection of the resource. This could be like waving a red flag at a bull. A reader may not have previously been concerned about the book content until it was pointed out to them in black and white.
TL’s and other academics need to be prepared to freely discuss/confront the concept of intellectual freedom. If we sit back and say nothing our students and the wider community may be missing out on essential learning requirements and a well-rounded education.
Accessing and acquiring resources
Reading: Lamb, A and Johnson, L (2007) ‘Program administration: Budget management‘ eduScapes.
A well-resourced library needs a great cash flow. A realistic budget is required for a school to maintain adequate resources for its school library resource centre. While a TL is in charge of a library budget they should also be aware of the entire schools budget as the library is part of the wider learning community.
Collaborator. A TL should be able to successfully collaborate with staff and students, administrators and community members in order to effectively administer budgets for a school library program.
Steward. A TL should be open to a wide array of input and base resource purchase decisions on a carefully monitored selection.
Thinker. A TL should always think, about what is really needed in terms of essential collection items. Is there already something similar in the library? Instead of a new purchase should the library be making the most of what it already has?
Consider practical examples of situations in regard to budget and collection management where a teacher librarian has, or should have, demonstrated the role of:
- Collaborator: At the beginning of term one I would place on the front desk a ‘must have wish list’. This list would be for both students and teachers to fill out. When budgets are finalised I would set aside an amount to fill the most essential requests on the wish list.
- Steward: Make sure that your resource selection process includes fellow educators and administrators. You could organise a meeting that targets library resources or even set up individual discussions with head teachers/principals.
- Thinker: Really think about what money should be coming out of the library budget to fulfill resource requirements as well as other department’s budgets. ie. If there is an essential science resource required by a science teacher should the library be purchasing it or should the science department be parting with the cash?
Reading: Chapter 3: Budgeting policies and procedures (pp. 12-17) in A Manual for developing policies and procedures in Australian school library resources centres (ALIA Schools and Victorian Catholic Teacher Librarians, 2007)
This section discussed the importance of a realistic budget. Templates are a great way of insuring a TL stays on the right budget path. Annual budgets are a must and time should be taken to review targets annually.
This article also contained handy hints for preparing budgets and budget submissions. And reminds TL’s that they are responsible and accountable for what they spend so a fully documented account of what they spent and why is essential.
Reading: Debowski, S. (2001). ‘Collection program funding management” In K. Dillon, J. Henri & J.McGregor (Eds.), Providing more with less : collection management for school libraries (2nd ed.) (pp. 299-326). Wagga Wagga, NSW : Centre for Information Studies,Charles Sturt University. (in e-reserve)
Collection management is aligned to budget management. Each resource is selected to accommodate a pre-existing collection and a budget is checked to ensure funds are available to purchase the resource. A TL must be accountable for their selection choices and be able to demonstrate why they picked certain pieces for their collection.
This article discusses two types of budgeting, one which follows a mathematical formula or one where you examine the condition of a collection mold a budget to acquire that collection. It also highlights that TL’s can be passive in their management process and simply accepts the budgets that are allocated to them. If the TL is not careful the new leads of the library can be overlooked. A TL who is a good negotiator doesn’t go astray. A strong ability to negotiate and the skills to easily justify why particular items were purchased is imperative.
Reading: McKenzie, D. (2009). ‘Importance of creating an annual report‘, Library Grits blog.
McKenzie’s 10 reasons to write an annual report;
1. Consolidation reflect on what was successful/what wasn’t
2. Analyse borrowing/usage rates
3. Account for Volunteer hours/help
4. Document staff professional development
5. Breakdown of where funds were spent
6. Specify goals and plans for the year ahead
7. Start goals before the year begins
8. Donations/Book Club fundraising targets
9. Comparative analysis across year levels
10. Provides the staff and the library with a greater exposure.
Completing an annual report would certainly highlight the important role the library plays within the wider school community. It helps shed light on the efforts of the library team and allows a TL to see the bigger picture. They can view in black and white the library’s strengths and weaknesses. It also provides staff with a clear vision of where they are ultimately headed.
Reading: Johnson, S. (2012). Key issues for e-resource collection development: a guide for libraries, IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Committee.
Many issues were raised in the article that might arise when I come to make my final collection decisions as a TL. The papers cover aspects on how to create a highly developed e-resource collection. Issues such as Technical Feasibility, Functionality and Reliability, Vendor Support, Supply and Licensing should all be considered when compiling a library’s digital collection. Evaluating resources is also essential as a plethora of information is available at the touch of a button and checklists will help to determine the authenticity and accuracy of each digital item. It is also essential to review and only renew resources that have lived up to user expectations.
Legal Issues in Collections
Copy Right considerations
Copyright is a number of rights in any creative works, from text to art, music to film. These rights are exclusive rights and are granted to the copy right owner. Some common misconceptions of copyright are people believe you must register for copyright in Australia. This is not true, no formal registration is required. Others believe if there is no copyright symbol then the work is copyright free. These misconceptions are often based on ignorance or misinformation. It is essential Teacher librarians keep up to date with the most recent changes to copyright law in order to ensure compliance.
Fair Dealing Purposes: This practice is free and does not require the permission of a copyright owner. I.e. used for study, research, satire, parody, criticism or review. This provision does not apply to making multiple copies. There are also exceptions specifically directed at education which allow free use of certain copyright materials in certain circumstances. i.e. copying by hand, study for exams, reading, performing reciting works.
It is important to remember that just because something can be found and downloaded from the internet does not mean that it is copyright free. Tl’s should also remember to check that the site is age appropriate and that the service is available for a school setting use and not ‘personal use only’.
Creative Commons is a licensing system by which creators of material grant rights as to how their work can be used, without payment, while retaining control over their copyright. Creative Commons provides resources that teachers and students can legally copy, adapt and reuse.
Two Quiz Questions on Copyright
1 When running a PE lesson can a teacher use there Ipod to play music in the background while students compete?
2 A teacher hires a video from the local video store and intends to show on the last lesson of term as a class reward. Thinking about copyright laws is this allowed?
I will post the answers shortly
Make notes about a school situation with which you are familiar. Is the school complying with the licensing agreements?
A pathfinder was developed by a university student and whilst on a practical stint the student showed their pathfinder to their mentoring teacher. The teacher then embedded the pathfinder into next year’s curriculum without having asked the student for permission to use their work. Is this a clear breach of copyright?
Answer: The teacher should have sought permission from the university student as the university student holds the copyright to the pathfinder. The teacher should obtain written permission from the student to place the pathfinder into next year’s curriculum.
Collection evaluation: the process of determining the worth of a collection in terms of its ability to satisfy the wants and needs of clients and fulfil the goals of the library (Kennedy 2006, p.160).
Module 5 looks closely at evaluating the collection as a whole, particularly, in the school context, in relation to how well the collection meets the demands placed on it by the curriculum and teaching and learning programs.
The Arizona State Library guidelines on collection development (2008) can be found at the following URL: http://www.azlibrary.gov/cdt/collass.aspx
Bishop, K. (2007). Evaluation of the collection. In The collection program in schools : concepts, practices and information sources (4th ed.) (pp. 141-159). Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited
This article explores a range of techniques for building library collections. The evaluation of any school library collection should be based on how well the collection meets the needs of library users, as well as the goals and objectives of the library program.
Ways Bishop suggests when checking a library’s collection are as follows;
Collection Centred Measures
Catalogues and bibliographies
Examining the collection directly
Compiling comparative statistics
Applying collection standards
User opinion surveys
Shelf availability studies
Analysis of interlibrary loan statistics
Document delivery tests
Library collections need to be continually evaluated to ensure the collection meets the user’s needs, curricular and instructional needs and resource formats that users prefer.
Any assessment on a collections development should be completed in the context of the collections philosophy, mission statement, constraints, users and environment.
Barriers to evaluation
Lack of staff/staff time
Lack of staff experience to evaluate/collecting empirical data
Uncertainty about what to do with the results
Hughes-Hassell, S. and Mancall, J. (2005) ‘Strengths and weaknesses of the current collection‘ in Collection management for youth: responding to the needs of learners, ALA: e-book, pp. 40-43.
When you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current collection you can more easily understand how the collection meets the needs of learners and supports the teaching and learning context of the school.
Keeping up with new resources and changes in technology is also a necessary component of learner centred selection as well as purchasing the most appropriate material to meet the user’s needs.
Hart, A. (2003). Collection analysis : powerful ways to collect, analyze, and present your data. In C. Andronik (Ed.), School Library Management (5th ed.) (pp. 88-91).Worthington, Ohio: Linworth (on e-reserve)
This article explains how to collect and analyse your library’s collective data.
A lot of the collection management completed by teacher librarians is not necessarily recorded. There a times however when a recorded collection can be useful. Determining if a collection is weak or strong can be answered by numbers (i.e. the amount of times a book is borrowed), by the relevance of resources within each classification or by the publication date (just to name a few).
National Library of New Zealand Services to Schools (2012). ‘Collections 5: Weeding Guide‘.
Weeding is the process of removing library resources which are no longer necessary or required. This could be because they don’t meet user’s needs, support student learning, are damaged, or are going unused. The benefits of weeding mean that the collection will be current, appealing and resources are easy to locate. Weeding should become a regular and ongoing process in order to maintain an appropriate collection.
A fantastic Acronym for weeding out unwanted books is: MUSTY
M – Misleading (faculty inaccurate)
U – UGLY (Beyond repair)
S – Superseded (newer edition or better title)
T- Trivial (no merit)
Y- Your collection has no use for it (irrelevant)
Beilharz, R. (2007). ‘Secret library business – part 2‘, Connections, Issue 63, pp. 10-12.
The objective of weeding is to always support the school collection development policy and develop a collection which is current, relevant and attractive. It is essential to remember that a school library collection must always be relevant to the community it is serving. Keeping items ‘just in case’ the curriculum changes or the item may eventually be required again is hoarding not effective weeding. By discarding old, unused or unwanted items the collection may look smaller but is stronger.
Actually getting rid of an item known as discarding should also be considered. Do you sell it? Recycle it? Or even hide it? Your school or council should have a policy you need to adhere to.
Larson, J. (2012). ‘CREWing children’s materials’ in CREW: a weeding manual for modern libraries, Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Austin, TX., pp. 33-36
Young people and adults are not the same therefore the types of resources you would acquire for an adult would not be the same as those you’d acquire for a young adult. Children are also less likely to check publication dates and are therefore are more likely to be exposed to inaccurate or incorrect information. Because of this fact alone teacher librarians must be vigilant with weeding and ensure all items in the collection are factually correct and up-to-date. The misguided belief that anything is better than nothing is not correct and should be forced from your thinking. Less is always more.
Collection Management Policy
Collection management decisions must be undertaken effectively, the collection must be honed to meet the needs of the learning community it serves, and any decisions that are made about the collection need to be consciously and systematically made, recorded and consistently applied to all resources.
Morrisey, Locke J. (2008). Ethical issues in collection development. Journal of Library Administration, v47(3-4).
A collection development manual can help to keep a teacher librarian on track and can be referred to when other staff disagree over why a resource was chosen over a resource they would have preferred. Re-evaluating your policy will also put to rest any arguments of bias or unethical behaviour.
Debowski, S. (2001). Collection management policies. In K. Dillon, J. Henri & J. McGregor (Eds.), Providing more with less : collection management for school libraries (2nd ed.) (pp. 126-136). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University. (on e-reserve)
This collection management policy relates to the area of selection, acquisition and censorship. It can also detail the functions the library selection should fulfil and the principals the library should adhere to.
Debowski’s Collection Management Policy Tips
1.0 The collection Function
1.2 The Collections Goals
2.0 Selection Principals
2.1 Responsibility for selection
2.2 Formats Incorporated
2.3 Other selection limitations
2.4 Duplicate Copies
2.5 Cooperative Acquisition
2.6 Criteria for selection
2.7 Donations and Gifts
2.8 Lost Items
2.9 School coordination of purchasing
3.0 Acquisition Policy
3.1 Resources will be selected using a range of selection tools and services or as a result of personal recommendation
3.2 Only resources that reflect the established selection policy priorities will be considered for purchase
3.3 Where ever possible resources will be physically reviewed before purchase
3.4 Funds must be available before a library purchase is initiated
3.5 Only approved suppliers will be used for library purposes
3.6 Print materials will be purchased where no other option exists
3.7 The decision to acquire or subscribe to resources will be made by the school librarian after an assessment of potential use and cost
4.0 Collection Evaluation Policy
4.1 Collection appraisal
4.2 De-selection of resources
4.3 Review of controversial resources
Why Weed? TL’s utilise the method of weeding to discard the collection of any unwanted material. This in turn leads to a stronger collection because it removes materials from the collection that are no longer relevant.
Criteria for weeding
Other – shelves overflowing, extra funding can replace weeded items
Williams, C. L., & Dillon, K. (1993). Preparing for the censor. In Brought to book : censorship and school libraries in Australia (pp. 95-112). Melbourne : ALIA/DW Thorpe. (on e-reserve).
Censors generally target material of sexual, political or religious content. As a teacher librarian to be I realise that I should not support censorship, however as a parent there are times when I would feel that censorship is appropriate i.e. pornographic material, racist or inaccurate material. Being informed about censorship, the libraries selection policy and formulating a written selection policy will help a TL to overcome any raised censorship issues. Collaborative policy development and being aware of the most commonly challenged titles will also help.
The future of school library collections
Wade, C. (2005). The school library : phoenix or dodo bird? Educational Horizons, 8(5), 12-14. (on e-reserve),
This article discusses the importance of school library’s evolving to re-emerge as spaces that are no longer confined to four walls. It also focuses on the impact technology has on libraries today and why technology cannot be ignored. Students who are confident at using technology but don’t possess the skills to read text have been referred to by Green and Bigum (1993) as ‘aliens in the classroom’. This means that if a TL were to provide a book for all of the students in a class to read not all students would be at the same reading level and some may be unable to comprehend the text. If students cannot read the text then they cannot value it or comprehend its meaning. TL’s and staff will need to form collaborative partnerships to lift student’s literacy skills so students can not only read the text but evaluate it and effectively use it.
Total information management system
An ideal library information management system would consist of the traditional library catalogue as well as a database that listed internet sites that meet the schools learning and teaching requirements. It should included lesson plans, curriculum content and be accessible 24 hours a day.
Freeman, G. (2005). Chapter 1 (pp. 1-9) ‘Changes in Learning Patterns, Collections, Technology, and Use’ In Library as Place: Rethinking Roles, Rethinking Space, Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, D.C.
Many academics have predicted with the emergence of new technologies that the library would soon become obsolete. To date this has not yet happened. The library is still seen by most fields in education as a centralised location where new and emerging technologies, as well as, traditional resources combine to provide users with the best of both learning worlds. Educators are aware that the internet tends to isolate people; this isolation cuts computer users off from physical resources and face-to-face communication opportunities that only a library can bring. Developing a physical library space that forms a dynamic learning environment will ensure students will still come to the library to think analytically, socialise as well as access information.
To what degree do you feel the following factors will determine the future of school library collections?
- Library budgets; Will be lessened and restricted to only the purchasing digital resources. (I personally hope this is not the case but believe without critical funding this will be the library budgets fate.
- Advances in information technology; Five years ago i-pads didn’t exist, my mind boggles over what will be developed in the next five years. Students may no longer even need a bag to carry their books to school, learning may eventually only occur on a portable device that fits in your pocket.
- The professionalism and enthusiasm of the teacher librarian; This will be up to the individual however I would hope that all teacher librarians continue to develop their professional practice and remain enthusiastic about an ever changing learning environment.
- Who has control over information technology within the school; If TL positions still exist then the TL will definitely play a major role in the implementation of information technology within their school. As technology in ten years’ time will be the main portal to seeking information.
- The nature and quality of the information that is available online; I don’t see this changing much in ten years’ time. Anyone, academic or not, can place whatever information they like on the internet. I believe in ten years’ time this will still be the case. Let’s just hope that action research and inquiry learning is imbedded into the students learning skills and will play a major role in the way students retrieve and use new information.
- Costs relating to online information; It will go up of course it’s called exponential growth.
Factors I feel will determine the future of school library catalogues are as follows;
- Paperless libraries
- Collection requirements
- Curriculum changes