ETL 503 Module 1 The school library collection in the context of teaching and learning and the digital environment

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The following quote resonated with me “the pace of change has been such that there has been no time for systematic research into the efficacy of different models of publishing, collecting and resourcing curriculum and how they contribute to learning”. I think we need to remind ourselves of this, and the rapid speed in which information transfer has occurred in the last 10 years alone.

I remember the days of the chunky modem to connect to the internet, waiting for the DJ to stop speaking so I could hit ‘record’ on my cassette player to record my mix tape, submitting my final assessment online via paper copy into an Assignment collector bin, to eventually purchasing my own i-Pad. I am proud and excited to be able to say I have experienced all of this change first hand, however anxious as I cannot predict precisely the ramifications of this rapid change and therefore cannot predict where we’ll be in another 10 years time.

Currently, at our school, despite our print collections being quite well stocked, the fact remains (and as the Module 1 topic notes dictate), ‘the presence of information technology is growing and teacher librarians are stepping up to the challenge of providing both a physical collection (DVDs, books, print journals, newspapers, etc) collection and a digital collection (streaming video, e-books, journal databases, websites, learning objects, apps etc) to meet the needs of the curriculum within their school’. With the new system OSCAR coming soon and online cataloguing systems already available, the digital world is here and it’s here to stay.

I mean, sure, one can assume, especially after reading ‘substantially less than 50% increase over the last year’ (Shatzkin, 2013). However, regardless of what happens, we as TL’s ”face the challenge of educating their community about the complexity of the current situation and of working with administrators, learners, teachers, publishers, funders and system providers to ensure delivery of optimal school library collections and associated services.” This will ultimately add to the question of how trends such as these may impact school libraries.

Shift in culture: my school as an example: Staff are beginning to see the value of our Teacher Librarian and how her expertise can be utilised and enhance students’ learning outcomes through technology.

Re-defining who/what the teacher librarian is/does: Teachers are now considering the option of working alongside the teacher librarian to cater for the needs of the 21st century learner. The teacher librarian is readily becoming the Information technology specialist.

The two points above, coupled with:

Strategic Plan: Re-evaluating the current school library collection and resources. What do staff encompass as their overall vision of the collection, and does this fit in with the Executive’s? Or the Ethos of the school? This introduction in ebooks come at a cost. How will the analytics be collected and what would be done with the statistics of usage? How do you manage this? How do you manage Copyright?

From the notes in module 1 I was intrigued by the notion that in the near future it won’t be the publisher who decides which books get released but rather the e-book retailers. Amazon has the market share; will this mean some books will only be sold via Amazon due to licensing deals? Will all children’s books have to have an animation and audio component to be viable? This would take the emphasis away from reading and towards listening and watching and also the tactile nature of current books would also be lost. I however, found comfort in the quote given in Libraries for a Post-Literate Society, Johnson, D. (2010)

So in terms of these trends impacting school libraries – so long as we’re capable of adapting (ourselves professionally AND our resources within the library), and that we are able to assist our students how to access and be able to undertake higher order thinking when evaluating these resources,  then we’re on to something, right? I think there is the potential for libraries to not just offer e-books for loan, but also offer the readers themselves for loan for people to try for themselves. Lessons in using new technology resources should also be considered if introducing new forms of technology into the collection.

References:

Johnson, D. (2010). Libraries for a post-literate society. Connections Issue 72, pp. 1-2

Shatzkin, M. (2013) “The Truth is We Do Not Yet Know Whether e-books Will Work for Anything Other Than Readerly Books” (http://www.idealog.com/blog)

Shatzkin, M. (Jan 2, 2013). The Shatzkin Files – What to look for in 2013. In The Idea Logical Company. Retrieved from http://www.idealog.com/blog/what-to-watch-for-in-2013/

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