Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tradition, Transition, Transformation

We are living in a time of great change. This is particularly evident in the fields of education and librarianship.

The models which have served us for so long are under intense scrutiny. It is becoming evident that there must be either a remodeling or a total reconstruction of what is ineffective, irrelevant, antiquated.

The question is no longer "whether" but "how" to facilitate the necessary transition.

Our vision remains constant: to serve our community and to prepare our students for life beyond formal schooling.

But as the community we serve, and the world into which our young people emerge, expands, so must the resources we share with them.

In the mid-nineteenth century, "transliteracy" meant substituting the letters of one language for the letters of another. The term now refers to "the ability to read and write using multiple media, including traditional print media, electronic devices, and online tools." A transliterate person is literate across multiple media.

Just as we once taught reading and stocked libraries with paper texts, we now need to teach a multitude of literacies and stock libraries with resources across diverse formats. This evolution certainly does not preclude traditional skills and materials: it enriches and extends them. Transliteracy is transformative, tapping into Information Age expertise, using the tools of modern society to better educate its citizens.

A world in transition should not discard tradition but transform it.

To learn more about transliteracy, I recommend following the Libraries and Transliteracy blog and viewing some of Buffy Hamilton's excellent SlideShare presentations.

"Through the looking glass" by albano alfredo

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