Library Links: School libraries

Collaboration is key to library success. Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Collaboration is key to library success.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia

I recently had the wonderful privilege of going to local high school classes and getting a taste of information literacy instruction. One set of presentations focused on nonfiction and offered tactics for finding a book that the student could actually be interested in. The other class focused on the online and physical resources available at the public libraries, and sought to put a library card into every student’s hand. The presentations were terrifying and exciting, and I came back from each energized and happy to be a librarian.
When I began pursuing my MLS, I specifically picked a general degree knowing that by not choosing to go down the library media specialist track (meant for those intending to work in school libraries), I would be effectively locking myself out of that area of librarianship. I am not regretting my decisions, because I honestly don’t think I can provide as much help as I do as a library media specialist. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand the value of school libraries.
I am, in fact, a supporter of school libraries and strongly believe that a healthy collaboration between school, public and academic libraries is required if we expect to prepare our youth to live and learn in such an information-saturated world. Indeed Library Journal’s Lisa Peet recently wrote about this very idea:

“No one institution can serve the needs of all students. School library budgets are declining, public libraries are struggling to keep their funding and work with a diverse and changing population, and academic libraries are focused on meeting the needs of students and faculty.”
So I thought I would put together an interesting round of Library Links that are related to school libraries, as well as the opportunities for collaboration that exist:

This isn’t a link but I thought I would offer a quote that I’ve read recently that discusses education in a way that falls in line with my own personal beliefs:

“In the philosophy of teaching, a big distinction is made between training and education. Training teaches a person how to carry out a specific task more efficiently and reliably. Education, on the other hand, opens and enriches the person’s mind. To train a person, you need know nothing about who they really are, or what they love, or why. Education reaches out to embrace the whole person.” How to Worry Less about Money by John Armstrong

I think librarianship the way I like to see it practiced falls closer to his idea of educating the whole individual. I hope my patrons go away with the skills to find information for themselves, but I prefer to teach first by listening, so that I can better understand the needs of the person I’m trying to help.


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