Smashwords has just published an ebook collection of over 100 short essays from around the world about trends in school libraries written by librarians, teachers, publishers, and library vendors. This ebook, School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come, provides an enlightening look at the changing role of this venerable institution.
The essays are organized into 10 topic areas:
- Who And When We Teach
- Emerging and Multiple Literacies
- Physical Libraries
- Virtual Libraries
- Collection Development
- Professional Learning
Here’s an excerpt from an essay entitled Lighting the Fuse of Inquisitiveness, which highlights the role of a school librarian as an information shepherd:
Regardless of how dramatically content changes, both in form and function, students will always need to think critically and to possess problem-solving skills as well as the ability to question and to investigate.
Further, these skills of discernment are in greater demand now than ever before, due to students’ unprecedented access to an unprecedented flood of information. Now the
greatest commodity is not the information itself but the distinct ability to synthesize and contextualize it, to turn it into useful, practical knowledge.
Another excerpt, from an essay entitled The Future of Storytimes: The School Media Specialist as Performer, highlights the role of a school librarian as a content evangelist:
The school media center is the gateway for new and exciting content; the book is the “script” of storytime. School media specialists must choose books with content that will capture the attention of their students. Children love reading good books they have been introduced to and storytimes are the most effective way to share that book with them. A wonderful new book can sit on the shelf of a library for months until it is read during a storytime; afterwards, every child asks, “Can I check-out THAT book?”.