Sunday, January 08, 2012

New Year, new ways of thinking about media centers!

A new library without books

This is a longish article, but well worth the time to read.  I have been thinking about change, when is it purposeful and prudent, and when is it just following the current trend.  The attached article has definitely given me a lot to ponder; I will be wondering and wandering through ideas about this "new" library space for a while.

What a lot to think about! After 25 years in elementary settings, I am in the secondary (15-18 year olds) for the first time. The media center usage is so different! It's January, and no one has used any of the reference section yet, except for a few dictionaries! Everyone goes directly to databses or the Internet! Because this school level is new to me, I go back to the evaluative resources I know, like the Wilson evaluation, or the evaluation in Follett's Titlewave, when I order materials for the library, but I wonder if "someone" out there is thinking of a  revisioning a model of what the "ideal" media center should contain.  For example, a student came in last week, to find a book about a US state; we did not have any, and I don't plan to order any, the Internet is the logical place to find update information for things like that.  Add in an online encyclopedia, and voila!, instant, current information!  But what about these areas of nonfiction that students read for pleasure -- sports books, leisure activity books, or crafting books?  Or, how many print sources should we maintain to support that teacher who has not yet joined the 21st century's tools for teaching arena?
Curation is a thoughtful, responsive idea, but your faculty needs to embrace it for it to be successful.
It seems as though we, media centers and librarians, are currently caught between two worlds, in which one do you live?  Or, are you like me, a foot in both worlds and tottering at the edge of both.

Next big wonder -- show me the books?!?  There are still students who come to check out physical books for the simple joy of reading, what about them?

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