Library 2.0

the future of libraries in the digital age


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More and more school library departments are merging with technology departments.  Has this happened to you?  How has the role of the librarian (teacher-librarian, media specialist ....) changed?  What do you envision for the next ten years or more?

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Interesting question. When we first added technology in the early 1980's it was part of the media center and part of my job to run both the Technology Program and the Library Media Center. I was able to get help with teaching tech classes, but no real help in the library. I finally asked for another person to either take the technology or the library as I felt I could only do one. We hired a full time technology person in the early 1990's.

Now we have 2 full time tech people and over 200 computers. The tech room keeps getting moved depending on how many regular ed classrooms we need.

We have an online library collection and have merged our collection with the public library and a private high school library. We provide online access to Gale/Infotrack Collections, Word Book, WebPath Express, and State Standards through the media center budget. The public library has audible downloadable books, we have playaways. Students use Destiny Quest for their sharing of books and recommendations. They have control over their accounts. We are looking to add a self check out station for grades 4 and up.

We have looked at our print reference collection and weeded half of it. We are continuing to look at how books are being used in the curriculum and by students for their own pleasure.

We will be purchasing ipad's for our entire middle school of 7th and 8th graders for next year. We are using many textbooks with on line versions for our students in the middle school.

I think we will be looking at a variety of methods of delivering services both online and in print.
My district has followed much of the route yours has. We haven't given up our print collections yet though our budgets have been reduced so drastically in the last three years the print collections may be reduced in size without real intention.

Do you find the librarians' duties/job descriptions have changed with the addition of online materials?
I teach an information literacy class with our technology specialist and we work together to meet the needs of our teachers when they are using web2.0 tools with their classes.  I also teach a movie making class with the technology specialist.  In the future, I see more use of e-books for texts, reference and fiction.

Our school is in the process of doing that. We are a small international school with 300 students PK-12.  We are building a new library/IT center over the next few years.  My roles continues to be librarian, I will have more responsibility for digital content when we more into our temporary classroom/library.  I work with the IT person on the 1:1 laptop vision, wireless and wired  networks, making sure we have enough bandwidth for our databases, laptops, etc.  When I wrote the digital resources proposal for the library, the IT person helped me to incorporate the tech vision and we included the school mission.  I see in 10 years, fewer reference books/nonfiction books, more digital resources, same amount of fiction k-12 and same amount of elementary NF.  Our new space will be flexible for individual to large group classes, moveable shelving, a genius bar, lots of soft and hard seating with connectivity outlets and wireless, a cafe, a storytelling pit, conference rooms, video editing room, etc.  Working together helps us both move the school forward with 21st Century resources and learning.  Does this help? I am happy to answer anymore questions.


Jenn the Librarian


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