Monday, November 7, 2011

The Under-used School Library

This is a response from Coralie Clark's article on the under-used school library in the International Baccalaureate Program. Written in 1995, it is a prophetic article that has great relevance in this day and age. Thanks to Stacey Taylor for the link!

Librarians face many challenges and concerns as technology changes and the learning landscape spurs many and varied pedagogical paradigms. Flexibility, competent communication skills and creative management strategies are required of the librarian. Thus, continuing professional growth is necessary to adapt, survive and thrive in the profession. Relevant to this is the formulation of action research or evidence based practice in the library.

Some evidences that a librarian can use are the following:

a. Circulation statistic and report. This would generate information on the profile of readers and their information behavior which could later indicate strong and weak areas in the collection.

b. Teacher and school librarian partnerships. Such collaborations must be documented, reflected upon, evaluated and become sources of theory development that will further enrich the practice of the profession. The participation of teachers in the selection and acquisition of library resources is one partnership that carry strong evidence that libraries are well utilised.

c. Identified library services that answer Independent research, reading and use of library resources. What library services, traditional or Web 2.0, answer the information needs and behavior of students, teachers and the learning community at large?

d. Community related activities. Other than internal library functions, there should also be opportunities for the librarian to join consortiums and forge interlibrary loan conditions with libraries in the community.

A saying from the olden days, no man is an island, is so befitting for this generation's librarian.

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