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

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for pointing this out Robin! So many people still don't understand that it doesn't matter how many books, computers, databases etc that a school library owns if there is not a library teacher in place to teach students how to navigate it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Joyce Valenza recently said that in the 21st century the library has gone from being a grocery store to being a kitchen. We are MAKING stuff! And to make great stuff--you need a master chef--and that would be us.

    ReplyDelete