Thursday, January 27, 2011

Why do students need school libraries?

If you can find EVERYTHING online, then why do we need school libraries?

School libraries should be far from obsolete....In fact, now that the technological age is in full bloom, school libraries are needed more than ever.

Students need books...Not everything can be found online. Books also back up the facts found online. We also need to learn how to use indexes and glossaries. Even eReaders' pictures are nothing like looking at photographs in books, or magazines.

Students need space. Space is really important when it comes to school libraries. We need to house books, magazines, newspapers, and computers for easy access to information. The physical library itself is a place for students and others to study and learn; surrounded by intellectually stimulating resources, and a quiet place to focus. Collaboration with fellow teachers and students at tables or next to each other to complete assignments, do research, or to read books.

Students need computers. All students need to be able to access information, from beginning readers who listen to books online, to learning how to keyboard, to upload photos, learn web 2.0 and utilize those tools which are available to them. Learning key words to look up information is key as well. Being digitally responsible and learning about copyright is critical. But how will they learn all this new information?....

Students need a librarian. Yes, who better to help students navigate through online resources, junk that crowds the Internet and find reputable sources through web evaluation. Librarians also help find books pertaining to your topic for research or help find the right section depending on your purpose. Teaching students about copyright issues and online piracy.

While all of these skills are traditionally associated with school librarians, many do not know that a few of us are actully teachers and curriculum navigators who help the entire school.

So before you are too quick to write librarians or libraries off as "old school" think again. They are far from being obsolete, In fact, now we (teacher-librarians) are needed by students, and other teachers, more than ever.