Libraries have always been a source of knowledge and almost unlimited information for students, lovers of literature, and researchers. The ability to find the information needed is in the hands of the Librarian. This individual is well versed in all library materials from microfiche to non-fiction books and the fastest way to access these materials. This reflection paper examines three programs and technologies associated with Library Media, along with the qualities required for an outstanding Media Library Manager. As technology has advanced so has its place in the library realm.
Library Media Programs The media programs found in school libraries operated by certified teacher-librarians give students access to various resources that help the students become well versed in their academic world. The learning requirements for school students continue to advance and students need some help to meet that challenge. This is also an area that is important to the district as well as individual schools. The following is a list of five library media programs that will be beneficial to schools, teachers, and students.
Reading Promotion Under this program literature gets a breath of fresh air. Stories and concepts that might have seem boring and outdated to modern day school children gain a new appreciation and critical thinking through activities such as readers’ advisories, booktalks, and awards programs (OSPI). Modern day students are several generations removed from the time of Shakespeare and the concepts of old English. It is important to show the students that Macbeth, Othello, and other classical forms of literature can teach them modern day life skills.
By engaging the students in critical thinking to determine how classical literature can be used in their everyday lives keeps these magnificent works alive in the hearts of the next generation and they serve a functional purpose. Information & Resource Management In order to ensure that all the materials students need are readily available, up to date and easily located there must be a high degree of resource management. Some ways to make sure these resources are properly catalogues are: library collections, databases, web pages, and/or instructional resources (OSPI).
Children live in the world of ease of use and quick access. If students come into the school library and cannot find the information they need then they will not come back or only come back when absolutely necessary? Curriculum & Instruction Collaboration As mentioned in the previous section students come into the library to find resources in order to answer questions about their homework, get information for papers, and study for tests. It is important that the teachers and the librarians stay in touch when it comes to the school curriculum (OSPI).
Communication between the two parties allows for the right materials for the job and various forms of those materials to be distributed or available to the students. In this ways learning is made much simpler. Information Services This is the area where print and electronic information resources come together. It is imperative that students and teachers are taught the most effective means to access and use these materials (OSPI). Without specific training students may become frustrated and then waist time doing unproductive activities. Also, the teachers need to appear knowledgeable to the students.
Students need to have the ability to access knowledge from print in traditional ways as well as the knowledge to gather electronic information in the modern way. Library Program Advocacy “Communicate the school library program’s vision, goals, and learning objectives to administration, staff, parents, and community to advance the program and its role in the learning environment (OSPI). ” Libraries like any other department or program require funding in order to compete with other departments and programs.
The library is only known for dusty books and as a place of study; this may not interest children or their parents. The community, the parents, and the children must all be well informed about the importance of the library for their own educational purposes as well as those of future generations. The next section is dedicated to the types of technologies that libraries use in relation to its media. Library Media Technologies There are different types of technologies to be had when dealing with the library. One of the most common is the personal computer that has been integrated into the system. There are also additional technologies such as Web 2.
0 and Library 2. 0, which will be discussed in detail in the next sections. Computers Computer is devices used to store, retrieved, produce, and search for resources. Personal computers are used by adults and children to surf the Internet, chat online, complete work projects and homework assignments. It stands to reason that computers would make their way into the library system. The card catalogue has been a long standing record keeper in the library world. This collection of information on materials and their location was often housed in big wood or metal cabinets that the students would need to access.
The information about the materials was literally printed on cards that the children had to read in order to fiction, non-fiction and other assortments of resources. Now with the advent of computers the card catalogue has been revolutionized. All the information found on the cards in the card catalogue can now be found on the computer in an electronic database. This is much easier for the library patrons because any computer in the library will have the information and there is no longer a need to line up in a central location to get resource information.
Also, the need to consult with the librarian reduces because the patrons can now find the information for themselves. There are even programs on the computers that tell the patrons exactly where to go to find the materials. If after all the information is given from the electronic card catalogue and the patron still cannot find the location then the librarian is summoned. At first this might seem like a bad thing because librarians need jobs but this new freedom allows the librarians to become better skilled at finding and teaching patrons how to best utilize the library media resources.
This education includes ways to use both the regular and the electronic card catalogues. There is always the possibility that the Intranet or Internet will go down but that will not stop the need to study and get homework done. Speaking of the electronic means to complete assignments it is time to discuss Web 2. 0 and Library 2. 0. Web 2. 0 Web 2. 0 incorporates these concepts: collaboration, wisdom of crowds, personalization, community, web-based, and transparency (Vacek). This new program has broadened the horizons of Internet users.
One of the hottest ideas was creating a personal websites that others could see, interact with, and then possibly leave comments. Now this idea has evolved into blogging websites. An individual can post a question or place a statement and then open the floor for several different users to provide their opinions and help exchange their knowledge. This is part of that sense of community discussed in the previous paragraph. It is important to note that anyone using information from websites such as blogs should double check the information with sources from the school library database and other trusted academic websites.
These are the websites that end in . org and . gov. Moving patrons to another leave is Library 2. 0. Library 2. 0 “Any service, physical or virtual, that successfully reaches users, is evaluated frequently, and makes sue of customer input is a Library 2. 0 service. Even older, traditional services can be Library 2. 0 if criteria are met (Vacek). ” Library 2. 0 can provide magazines online for students and adults to access at any point in time. It provides links to websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook which are types of community websites. The first is based on a community of professionals.
Facebook, an important form of social media, provides a chance for students and adults to access company information and also to provide their information for potential jobs. Library 2. 0 has advanced features such as library suggestion box, globally available services, and making information easier to find and access (Vacek). Traditionally, the suggestion box was a box located within a building that was specifically designed to get feedback from patrons about a product or service that might need improvement. Now patrons can access suggestions boxes online in the form of feedback.
Globally availability of services means that patrons are no long shackled to one location. Anyone with an online connection can access the information from any location. And of course as talked about previously the very usage of computers with the proper training provides ease of use for the patrons. The next section is dedicated to librarians and how they utilize the media in the library. Media Management Librarians It was previously mentioned that the librarian was the primary helper of the library patrons. These were the experts that performed almost all the library functions for the patrons.
These individuals showed the patrons were the card catalogue was located, how to read the information on the cards and then directed them to the location of the sought after materials. In many cases the librarians had to go with the patrons to find the information which could be a hassle sometimes. While one person was being led by the librarian the other patrons would most likely have to wait depending on the number of librarians were available to assist. There were times when the librarian would actually retrieve the information for the patrons and then stamp the books to let the patrons know when the materials were due for return.
In the modern world of library media management the entire process of finding and acquiring materials is very different. The librarian is still the resource person but in a different capacity. Since the advent of technology almost all the materials and resources the patrons need can now be found through the electronic database. This means that a patron can access the electronic card catalogue from any computer in the library. The location and availability of the resource in question will be displayed on the screen. The interaction between the librarian and the patrons becomes that of teacher and resource guide.
The librarians now have the job of adequately training the patrons, new and old about the electronic databases and how to effectively use them to find materials. It is also important for the librarians to teach the patrons how to use the traditional means to find information like the actual card catalogue. There are certain characteristics required to make an effective media librarian such as certification to best satisfy and assist the patrons. Media Librarian Characteristics One of the main characteristics required for an excellent media librarian manager is certification.
“A professionally-trained library media specialist can optimize each of the other impact factors (quality of information resources, level of patron usage, and level of instructional collaboration), maximizing their program’s impact on student achievement (Spinks). ” The level of achievement that is obtained from having certified media librarian managers continues to increase. This does not mean the uncertified staff members no longer serve a purpose. These individuals would be better suited for positions such as clerical workers and operational task assistants.
Another way that certification can help make the media library experience more effective is to link the curriculum of the teachers with the library materials that are available for the students. Sometimes when I teacher creates a curriculum or is given one for the students during a school year that are supplemental materials needed to complete the assignments. These materials may not be available with the original set of books for the class. When the certified media librarians and the teachers work together all the materials needed can be reasonability acquired.
With the new tools provided by technology the students could easily get access to the materials through the Internet or the electronic database. The students could learn about new resources such as GoogleSholar if academic journals and materials are needed. There will be some materials that the students are not allowed to take out of the library but at least the students will have the information available for their use. The librarian can get a list of materials for the subjects that teachers do submit and then order those materials.
The media librarian and the teachers can communicate through e-mail or face to face in order to discuss any changes that need to be made after the order has come in. It has also been briefly discussed how additional training is needed and administered by the media librarian. The concept of the teaching is quite simple; the media librarian is an expert concerning the new technologies and programs that are used within the library. It then becomes the librarians responsibly to make sure that the patrons are familiar with the new technologies and programs so they can retrieve resources faster.
Trainings can be conducted during the time the students are in the library or special times may be allotted for this type of training. The trainings can be repeated as needed when new material comes out, new technologies are implemented, or new programs have been added to the media library. Diversity is very important and the media librarian must take that into consideration when authorizing new technologies and programs. The media library materials need to include information about African Americans, Asian Americans, Islamic Americans, LGBT, and disabled patrons.
Materials available in Braille and also that are voice activated would be very important to the learning process of the individual. Another benefit is the opportunity to learn about another culture from materials that are located in the library. Conclusion The sources of knowledge and information for the modern day patron are no longer isolated to printed materials and the traditional library. Even the traditional librarian has undergone a huge change.
Programs like advocacy coupled with technologies such Library 2.0 are able to draw in more interested parties and with the help of a certified librarian the possibilities to new knowledge are expounded. The more the patrons become familiarized with the materials and how to get them the more time the librarian can take on improving his or her own skills concerning. In the near future there may be no need for these gladiators of the new library world.
It would be possible for people to download information directly into their devices with a tutorial on how to use them. Only time will tell the wonders of this new media concerning libraries, librarians, and patrons. Let’s keep our eyes open.
References Spinks, A. (2009). Library Media Programs and Student Achievement. Retrieved May 13, 2013 from http://www. cobbk12. org/librarymedia/proof/research. pdf State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). (n. d. ). School Library Media Programs and Teacher-Librarians. Retrieved May 13, 2013 from http://www. k12. wa. us/SchoolLibrary/ Wools, B. (2008).
The school library media manager (4th ed. ). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Vacek, R. (n. d. ). Technology Trends in Libraries – Today & Tomorrow. Retrieved May 13, 2013 from http://www. slideshare. net/vacekrae/technology-trends-in-libraries-today-tomorrow.