Sunday, June 16, 2013

The changing role of the librarian: an information coach

At one time not so long ago, literacy was defined as the ability to read and write and the school library was a place where students came to check our books to read or to find information in reference books.  In recent years, however, with the rapid advances of technology and the way it has become ubiquitous in schools, the definition of literacy has changed so that the emphasis is more on students being able to find and edit information to create their own digital media.  Around the world, schools have seen a fusion of the traditional roles of the teacher librarian and the IT teacher in order to teach students the skills they need for the future.  The library is turning into an information centre where technology, teaching and learning come together and where those staffing it can help students with both technical and information questions.

Last year, building a new campus at ASB, allowed us to completely rethink the concept of the elementary library.  We now have an iCommons on every floor of the building where students can access both eBooks and printed books, and the Librarian and Tech Coordinators work closely in these interactive spaces to help students learn both independently and collaboratively.  No longer are these iCommons just a place for books for passive consumption, but they are places of inquiry where students are supported and coached to become information creators and communicators of their knowledge.  As students engage in inquiry they build new understandings and skills and they develop and apply critical and creative thinking.  Above all, the technology provides the opportunities for the transformation of learning and empowers students to be responsible for their own learning - with the support of an information coach.

1 comment:

  1. Maggie, you have described the transition of the library to a 21st Century learning environment, so well. Thank you it is inspiring.