IPads, maker spaces, 3-D printers, and coding skills top the tech wish lists for 1,259 school librarians across the country, according to School Library Journal’s (SLJ) 2015 Technology Survey. Educators are hungry to bring their students even more—whether that’s robotics classes or Arduino kits.
“New computers, tablets, video equipment, all digital tools, instruction on usage, [and] enough bandwidth” count among the must-haves for Andrea Oshima, a school librarian at Aviara Oaks Elementary School in Carlsbad, CA. Currently, 64 percent of school librarians consider themselves tech leaders in their schools—and 28 percent feel that their tech skills afford them increased job security. READ MORE: School Librarians Want More Tech—and Bandwidth | SLJ 2015 Tech Survey | School Library Journal.
The sounds of libraries today reveal the impact of libraries throughout our lives — from the excited giggles of toddlers in storytimes to the “aha’s!” of young people engaged in inquiry to the quiet conversations of senior citizens discovering new authors and using computers to research. All types of libraries — school, public, and academic — form a library ecosystem that provides and supports lifelong learning.
For example school librarians teach children the 21st-century skills they need to build knowledge, create and share their own ideas, successfully complete their high school education, and prepare themselves for college and career. Academic librarians enable students to complete their college degrees, building on the skills taught by school librarians, and support academic research and scholarship. Public librarians extend the work of school and academic librarians by providing homework help, literacy resources, and after-school and summer programming. Public librarians take up the mantle of support for lifelong learning by providing resources, services, and programs tailored to meet the needs, interests and aspirations of all of their community members.
Under this view of a library ecosystem, all types of libraries work together to deliver learning opportunities for people of all ages. However, a threat to one part of the system stresses the entire system.
As education technology has evolved, so, too, have the kinds of digital tools that school librarians use with their students, as shown in School Library Journal’s 2013 School Technology Survey. Handheld tablets and devices are coveted items for classroom and instructional use, along with access to online sites and apps that school librarians believe can revolutionize the way they instruct—and the way students learn. More than 750 school librarians responded to SLJ’s survey, representing K–12 public and private schools across the country. According to the data, school librarians make the most of what they have, learning one day and sharing that knowledge the next. They not only make tech tools available for students and teachers, but teach them how to use the tools as well.
With MakerBot Academy, the 3-D Printing Movement Aims for Schools | AllThingsD
The company announced on Tuesday an initiative to begin seeding its Replicator 3-D printing machines inside of K-12 schools across the U.S. The effort comes in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, a site that allows public school teachers to make online requests for classroom projects, which are then backed by a Kickstarter-like funding drive.
Officials say they have banned teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai’s book from private schools across Pakistan, calling her a tool of the West.
Malala attracted global attention last year when the Taliban shot her in the head northwest Pakistan for criticizing the group. She released a memoir in October, “I Am Malala,” that was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb.
Adeeb Javedani, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, said Sunday his group banned Malala’s book from the libraries of its 40,000 affiliated schools. He said Malala was representing the West, not Pakistan.
Malala has become an international hero for opposing the Taliban and standing up for girls’ education. But conspiracy theories have flourished in Pakistan that her shooting was staged to create a hero for the West.
An Alabama legislator who does not support efforts to repeal the sweeping U.S. education initiative known as the Common Core Standards says he believes the reading list issued in conjunction with the standards needs to be revised.
State Senator Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) told Alabama Media Group this week that he believes The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, should be banned from high school libraries, despite the fact that this book is on the Common Core Standard’s recommended reading list for 11th-graders.
The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about the high (and increasing) number of public middle and high schools going without professional school librarians in the state of New York. Existing positions were being eliminated, new schools were being created without any librarians on staff. I started a discussion on the LIS Career Options LinkedIn group asking whether this was part of a broader trend across the country. The response: absolutely…
…Since school librarianship is the LIS discipline I know least well, I imagined that there might be many solid transferable skills that individuals could repurpose for new job opportunities. The response: not so much.”