Monday, February 16, 2009

Rich on School Librarians

Motoko Rich continues her NYTimes series on "The Future of Reading" with a piece today on school librarians (aka those in the field most likely to deserve sainthood nominations). I think it's a good article: it points out the important roles school librarians can play in teaching students not only about the pleasures of readings, but also about Internet research skills, lessons they may not be getting either at home or in their test-obsessed classroom instruction. Rich also touches on the trouble spot, however - that librarians tend to be easy targets for budget cutters.

What is true for all librarians is perhaps even more immediate for school librarians: today's libraries aren't just books anymore. Being able to understand, manage and train students to use a wide (and ever-expanding) range of resources has become part and parcel of school librarianship; unfortunately in too many school districts, the list of priorities has gotten a little out of whack. The librarian profiled by Rich told her "We are teaching them how to think. But sometimes the Board of Ed seems to want them to learn how to fill in little bubbles."

1 comment:

Richard LeComte said...

I still remember getting training in research methods from my school librarians in the 1960s and '70s; it's training my kids don't seem to be getting. My oldest daughter doesn't like to do anything beyond a Google search. I wonder if teachers are using the library properly as a resource or if librarians find it too difficult to get kids to sit and learn this stuff, like Dewey Decimal Classification.