Teacher Librarians have the potential to shape and mediate the interactions between students and the infosphere within the school environment and in a broader context.
Importantly, having an understanding of the information landscape reveals patterns of usage that differ between demographic groups. Facebook’s largest user group is the 25-39 demographic with 6.1 million, in comparison to the 13-17 demographic with 940,000 (Cowling, 2016). This has implications for the ways that information is delivered within a Library context to users, it may be appropriate for parents, but would miss students.
American data reveals that YouTube has 98.3% of the 18-24 year old internet demographic, with pet videos being of equal popularity amongst both genders (Digiday, 2019). Interestingly, this has implications for the way that Libraries deliver information to users, Stanford University redeveloped their instructional videos and used a gender neutral chipmunk to add humour with great success with measurable data to show improved student engagement (Marchis, 2018).
The data and experiences above reveal that specific research is required by Teacher Librarians to determine the ways that their students use social media and what types of social media are in usage by the student population. It is essential that Librarians are open minded when it comes to the potential that the information landscape provides in terms of learning experiences for both themselves and students.
The broader contexts exists within schools and so it is imperative that Teacher Librarians keep abreast of technological trends and student adaptation.
Blattberg, Eric. (2015). The demographics of YouTube, in 5 charts. Digiday UK. Retrieved April. 2019.
Cowling, D. (2016). Social media statistics Australia: September, 2017. Social Media News. Retrieved April. 2019.
Marchis, B. (2018). Putting levity into literacy: Professional produced library instruction videos. Journal of Information Literacy, 113-121. doi: 10.11645/12.2.2488