One of the main roles of a teacher librarian is to connect the learners in their community to the information in a variety of formats from a variety of devices that their learners seek (Partridge, Lee & Munro, 2010). As such they have needed to adopt a leadership from the middle mentality so that they can keep their library as relevant as possible in a climate where some may feel that libraries are a luxury rather than a necessity in schools. Teacher librarians need to be advocates of not only the space but their role as information specialists so that the attitude of ‘why do we need libraries when we have the technology?’ does not become the norm. In this age of Web 2.0 technologies, teacher librarians need to not only evolve and redesign library spaces, they need to evolve and redesign their own competencies and attitudes to advocate for their profession as information specialists.
The first way that teacher librarian needs to transform to possessing 2.0 capabilities is through the use of Web 2.0 technologies in the way they deliver curriculum and learning. Pedagogy needs to be not only in the delivery of lessons in the ‘new literacies’ as do this and do that but rather a modelled and seamless integration into an authentic learning experience. The context of the learning needs to be relevant as well as authentic to the learners’ lives in and beyond the walls of the library, classroom and school gates. It is imperative then that teacher librarians are aware and informed of the needs of the learners in their learning communities so that what they present as their library space is based on their user needs making the space user friendly (Huvila, Holmberg, Kronqvist-Berg, Nivakoski & Widen, 2013). Teacher Librarian 2.0 views learning as a lifelong process that is available anywhere, anytime from any device. Teacher Librarian 2.0 needs to collaborate with colleagues (Bishop, 2011) about their learners’ needs and this may include those of their colleagues who are on their own lifelong learning journey.
Teacher Librarian 2.0 needs to be aware that Digital Citizenship is so much more than cyberbullying and be working to blur the lines between online and offline participation in society. Teacher Librarian 2.0 models and promotes not just the tool or device that is used for connecting but how the interaction with these devices can affect individuals and the society at large. The 9 elements of digital citizenship need to be addressed and as Web 2.0 is about participation through connection, creation, collaboration and communication then the expectation needs to be taught as young as possible – What would you do if you were face to face with your mum/dad/trusted adult? What would you do if you were face to face with your friends? What would you do if you wanted to buy something at the supermarket?
An important element of citizenship is the idea of fair use and copyright. Again, just because the information is able to be accessed so readily and available for download, does not make it able to be used as your own. I like to use the analogy, if I walk into a supermarket and they have a display of chocolates can I just take one? It’s the same with information on the worldwide web, individuals have created works such as written texts, images, videos and to have their efforts taken without acknowledgement is not fair. Students, even in primary school, are very verbal when discussing the fairness of copying from each other and there aren’t many students who like their work being copied without being asked. Teacher Librarian 2.0 strives to provide students with the knowledge and skills to work with Creative Commons so that they can use the affordances of Web 2.0 technologies as effectively as they can.
Teacher Librarian 2.0 also needs to possess a growth mindset whereby if something does not work the first time when engaging and utilising Web 2.0 technologies, they reflect, evaluate and try another way. They need to be flexible and adaptive to the state of constant change that information can take and will continue to take. The following YouTube clip created by Laura Cohen provides some great insights into the personal attitudes and capabilities needed by Librarian 2.0.
Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU&feature=youtu.be
It is only through engaging in and with Web 2.0 technologies that teacher librarians can promote the information services that are now on offer. It is a privileged age we work in with access to print and digital information but the latter does not make school libraries or those that work in school libraries redundant or unnecessary. There is always going to be a need to connect learners with information and if anything information specialists will be required more than ever. Teacher Librarian 2.0 can be an invaluable asset to any school when there is a collaboration between leadership, other colleagues and the wider community (O’Connell, 2012). The position of teacher librarian is one of relationships and technologies and being able to connect the two in both an offline and online environment.
Bishop,Kay (2011). Connecting Libraries with Classrooms: The Curricular Roles of theMedia Specialist. Retrieved from eblib.com
Cohen, L. (2006) A librarian’s 2.0 manifesto. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZblrRs3fkSU&feature=youtu.be
Huvila, I., Homberg, K., Kronqvist-Berg, M., Nivakoski, O., & Widén, G. (2013). What is Librarian 2.0 – New competencies or interactive relations? a library professional viewpoint. Journal of Librariansip and Information Science, 45(3), 198-205. doi: 10.1177/0961000613477122
O’Connell,J. (2012). Learning without frontiers: School libraries and meta-literacy in action. Access, 26(1), 4-7.
Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming “Librarian 2.0”: The skills, knowledge, and attributes required by library and information ccience professionals in a Web 2.0 world (and beyond). Library Trends,59(1-2), 315-335.http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/journals/library_trends/v059/59.1-2.partridge.html‘