To what extent do you feel Lee is predicting the end of school libraries?
Not at all actually! I feel that Lee is simply advising us (TLs and schools as a whole) to be prepared to undertake radical change in what what is provided and how it is provided if the ‘school library’ and ‘teacher librarians’ are to survive. Even as a young teacher with an innate love and relish for the digital world, reading this article really bought home the need to move away from our traditional library set up and move to fully integrate our ICT and library departments.
Is it important to adopt new names such as ‘information services unit’ and ‘director of learning technology’ as part of this process of change?
My current school is working towards this end which is encouraging and exciting. What makes me feel slightly uncomfortable is the realisation that both our departments need to expand their perception of their roles and the consequential personal and professional learning we will all have to undertake. As Lee pointed out, “the perception is the reality” – do we really see the library as the ‘paper” learning arena and the ICT labs and one-to-one laptops programme as the ‘digital’ learning arena? Given that the library and the ICT department are housed in different parts of the school and have different budgets, I’d say the answer is yes.
Will merging the two departments and calling it the “information services unit” headed by a “director or learning technology” mean the wider school community have their eyes opened and their perceptions of our role widened? It may take some time but I believe the answer is, again, a definite yes.
Writing this post has really challenged my own deeply held beliefs about the role of TLs and libraries in general. Coming into this course, I was clinging to my love of books, reading and education as a whole. What I didn’t realise was how narrow my view of the TL role was. And we’re only in week 1! Imagine how I’ll be feeling at the endd of the semester, let alone the course.