Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Day 219photo © 2009 Fergus Randall | more info (via: Wylio)
‘There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.’ ~Buddha

We had a great year. There were more opportunities for students to access and manage information in new ways, and our Kindle roll-out that included new ways for students to read, review and blog. There was intense grant writing to expand our e-book resources, more staff development to keep us all at the top of our game, and best of all were the deeper, collaborative  connections with teachers to expand information skills assessment of student work.

Transitioning to a learning commons model  allowed us to think differently, give ourselves permission to try new things and share ownership of the program goals and space. We are an academic center, a classroom, a media production center, a performance venue, a place for relaxed social learning and intense individual study. We are a resource for all learners and fierce advocates for those who read and learn differently. We are the cultural center of our community. And we have so much more to do!

Believing all this was possible was a leap of faith. The change began with committing, and starting.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Thanks, Oprah, but you got it wrong

"Oprah Winfrey ended the 25-year-run of her wildly popular talk show with the announcement of two school-library initiatives, one of them partially funded by her audience members."

Oprah Ends 25-Year Run with Spotlight on School Libraries

It's not about the carpets, the furniture or about the room. It's not about the books.

The real mission of the school library is teaching. The real "treasure" is the school teacher-librarian who effectively advocates for resources to teach children to become information and technologically literate. In the global information economy we need audiences to cheer and open their wallets for school budgets and funded libraries staffed by certified teacher-librarians.

Sure, reading is central to the mission. The books are important. But without a school librarian people are mistaking the crucial, instructional mission of the school library with that of a browsing bin.

It is time for school libraries and teacher-librarians to stop being identified with books on a shelf.

So, thanks for the shout-out, Oprah. Nobody has been a more effective advocate for reading than you. Next time I hope it will be a shout-out for the skills students need to organize and make sense of their quickly changing world and the curriculum instructors who teach these skills. School teacher-librarians.

Photo Credit:
Oprah's Book Club

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