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Libraries in the Digital Era

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The school library is at the heart of any educational enterprise. In the digital era of "school 2.0" the library must shift and adapt to new distribution channels for information as well as new collaborative models of how clients [students] search for and use information as more and more printed text becomes available in electronic form.

Other libary pages on this wiki: Barcode Scanners, Information & Media Literacy, Information Literacy Scope & Sequence, Library Circulation and Catalog Software, Online Databases, The New Basic Skills, Conference Presentations on Research, Student Book Reviews

Check out these notes from a Joyce Valenza workshop:

  • In the past, a library's "collection" was its books and periodicals, but now we also have databases, blogs, wikis, webcasts, podcasts, ebooks, RSS, OER Commons, etc.
  • "The only way a K-12 teacher or student will find this stuff is if you point to it, so you have a major responsibility to open up this stone soup."
  • there are search tools just for blogs
  • the ability to do our own research with surveys, polls, etc
  • students collaborate with teachers
  • news is global... and in all languages
  • research is dynamic... channel information to automatically flow to you via RSS
  • using tags for navigation
  • we need to be insidious and supportive but not nosy
  • "we are moving into a new presentation era - presentation zen, not bullet points"


Also see David Warlick's blog where he asked readers to comment on how libraries are the hub of the school. Tim made this very perceptive comment: "In my experience whether the library is the hub of the school depends very much on the person running it. I work with many librarians who are active in every part of their schools, bringing new ideas (including some from web 2.0) to anyone who’ll listen. They understand that they are teaching people to use information. In other cases, we still have librarians who stay in their space, believing they are the focal point of the school, and wait for people to come to them. However, the crowds coming through the door are dwindling because teachers and especially students don’t view the library as the exclusive place to locate information. It’s coming from everywhere. "

Also see this blog post with an informative diagram of the relationship between librarin, IT, and educational-technologist. For another examples see this site.

Info Fluency wiki

In 2009, the Fisher Watkins Library at Cushing Academy went to a primarily digital format. We wanted to create a library that reflected the reality of how students do research and fostered what they do -- one that went beyond the stacks and embraced the digital future. The acceptance by the students was immediate. Having an established one-to-one computing environment lent very well to this model of delivery. We also use a collection of 200 e-ink readers to provide reading access to students and faculty. The students and faculty have very much enjoyed the use of the e-reader technologies and use them primarily for pleasure reading. We have seen a dramatic revitalization of our library space where students come to work, research on-line, collaborate on projects and meet with faculty. The removal of the stacks which were being minimally utilized provided a great physical space opportunity for the school.

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