Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thing #15 Caught in the web?

This one is going to be tough for me. I am the example of the conflict between the library of yesterday and the library 2.0 of today. First, let's get something straight. I love the technology! My husband works in the computer industry and I have been telling him for years that the way to access the amount of information and make it portable is . . . and then I would describe something akin to the smartphone, the tablet pc or the new iPad (yeah, Windows 7 was my idea. . .). The people behind the changes in technology in my lifetime are geniuses. Ah, and there's the rub - my lifetime! The video in Thing #15 is correct - in order to really learn the information that we need, we spend most of our time online. As Rick Anderson so eloquently put, when we have to learn how to use each of the programs, websites, and databases, then remember the accounts and passwords, we are wasting valuable time and energy. And then there is doing it while keeping you and your identity safe. I know that we are learning, we are just spending a great deal of time on details not related to the actual information. You see, I'm not just the librarian, I am also the student. One that has learned each evolution of the technological age. Now that there is so much information available, it needs to be easier to find, access, evaluate, and use.

The library I see in my elementary students' eyes looks like this: a fun place to learn with accurate, up-to-date information that is easy to use so that they can focus on learning the reading, math, science, social studies, and global social skills that form the foundation of what they will use for the rest of their lives. It is a place that has the ability to connect with the global community using technology. It is a place to learn and practice basic skills with elementary components like books, magazines, and poster board. And it is a place that has the ability to adapt to all learning styles using all available resources. My job is to help them do this in a safe, but not confined, environment. Developing an information literate student with a love of learning is part of the public school 2.0 librarian's job description. That includes the skills necessary for students to do what I am doing: adapt and figure out how to use new technology as it comes along.

Well, I'm about to sneeze from the dust of this soapbox, but I hope that what I have said will stimulate readers to put in their 'two cents worth' (and join the 2.0 library vision). I have a concern that we need to make it easier and quicker to understand and access the different programs and data. John Reiner's article covers accessing metadata. Hopefully, we can incorporate those ideas into all aspects of a student's web needs. I'm on board, are you?


  1. I'm not sure I understand your thoughts. I think you have described the students' view of the library and I think your work in the library supports that view, but I am confused by your opening statement. do you not feel you are contributing to the students' view?

  2. VWB:
    I do feel that I am contributing to the student's view of the 2.0 library. That is a major goal of mine. My comment was not clear, it was more about the struggle involved in change. I was trying to express my desire for a more streamlined approach to the library 2.0 evolution. The conflict is not about whether or not to change, but how to approach, endure, and thrive with the change. Probably more a commentary on me at this point in my evolution.