In my search to optimize technology use in the library to support school curriculum and advance student skills I came upon Dr. Michael Hough’s (2011) article Libraries as iCenters: helping schools. In the article Dr. Hough suggest a new view to the school library as a whole. He encourages librarians to view themselves as the chief information officer (CIO) of the school. He states that the end goal of education is to ensure that students are prepared to join the workforce. However, due to technology demands on society students need more technology training and education needs to be revamped to accommodate these changes.
Some key points in his article include: the necessity for libraries to be the technology hub of the school, current trends in information and communication technologies, and the significance of those trends for school libraries.
There are many advantages of the library being the technology hub of the school. First, in order for students to fully understand the digital learning environment trained adult supervision is key to building proper information retrieval skills. Second, the library must be better equipped than home environments to provide comprehensive training to students and one area in the school should head the technology department. Finally, with such rapid growth in technology and a wide variety of faculty experience in technology, librarians must keep teachers up to date and comfortable with all digital applications.
The progression of technology use in the business world establishes a higher need for information and communication technology training to be geared toward future uses for students. Students will need to access digital services in the library 24/7 just as they would in the workforce. Students will also face barriers in technology without instruction on information literacy and digital citizenship. It is essential for students to differentiate between relevant and unreliable information on the web.
What does this mean for the school library? It means the library must grow with technology and society. Libraries are no longer limited to physical objects and the librarians must assert themselves as technology leaders that promote the library. Library resources must reflect current trends in society and become the school technology base. Students should have all digital resources available to them in the library.
In today’s library environment, information literacy and digital citizenship are top priorities. I believe those skills should be shared will all students and the lessons should be continually be updated. I would incorporate class lessons that allow students to engage in both technical applications for research and Web 2.0 tools that address their social interest to promote better digital practices. Another idea is to collaborate with teachers to create class assignments that teach digital skills, but create mock business situations or contests to strengthen student understand without straying from curriculum.
Hough, M. (2011). Libraries as iCentres: helping schools. Access (10300155), 25(1), 5-9.