Digital and more

OLJ Task 6: Embracing a Library 2.0 ethos
Consider the services discussed by Laura Cole in relation to a library or information agency that you know (as an employee or user). Select four key points made by the speaker and consider how these may be applied to a library or an organisation you are familiar with to help it embrace a Library 2.0 ethos. Write 300 – 400 words.


Screen shot image on our icsz library webpageImage is a screenshot from our ICS Library homepage

In this TED Talk by Laura Cole she recounts the benefits of digital libraries. Several of the points she makes can be applied to a school library (TedX Talks, 2016).

1. The library is no longer a destination; the patron is the destination of information.

I agree with Cole, and also with David Loertscher, who said: “If we want to connect with today’s learners and teachers, we need to redesign the library from the vantage point of our users” (Compar, 2015, p. 20). Learning happens 24/7 and the library’s resources and support should be available when and where our students learn. Cole’s next point allows me to expand on this:

2. Digital changes the way the patron interfaces with the library

Our students are used to immediate access to products and services. Even a library “down the hall”, may be too far. The digital library must provide all the services and products of the physical library when and where needed. Patrons should have access to research, referencing and citation help, access to databases, and collections of ebooks and audiobooks where ever they are. The virtual and physical spaces of a school library are equally important (Sullivan, 2015, p. 28). The possibilities of a physical library should not be overlooked, Cole concedes:

3. Libraries are more than depositories, they have a social function

School libraries should be designed to provide a casual environment that stimulates inquire and learning by providing places for collaborative and shared learning, but also workspaces that can be individualised according to the learning needs of a particular student (Sullivan, 2015, pp. 28, 49).

School libraries should have an open and inviting atmosphere, be that “third space”, the neutral space where everyone is treated equally on neutral ground and people gather to discuss and interact (Brehm-Heeger, 2006, p. 27). The librarian and library staff play a big role in creating this atmosphere.

4. The librarian can play a more active role of navigator

In an age of information overload, the librarian can provide valuable assistance making available collections of curated relevant an appropriate resources, but also assist students in developing information literacy skills that will allow them to become critical users of information.


References

Brehm-Heeger, P. (2006, July). A tie for third place: Teens need physical spaces as well as virtual places. School Library Journal, 27.

Compar, F. (2015). Re-imagining the school library the learning commons and systemic reform. Teacher Librarian, 42(4), 20-24.

Sullivan, M. L. (2015). High impact school library spaces: Envisioning new school library concepts. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, an imprint of ABC-CLIO.

TedX Talks. (2016, April 15). The reimagined library – where will it find you? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/PnYDl66YfQ0

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