Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Role of School Librarians

Yesterday, I received the following information from Laurie Conzemius, SIGMS Communications Chair:
ISTE SIGMS has just released an important advocacy statement - "The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies". This document can be used to provide information on the important role that school librarians play in promoting the use of educational technologies in their schools and the need for libraries to have adequate available technologies. Please share this statement with administrators and other library stakeholders. See the document at http://sigms.iste.wikispaces.net/advocacy.

The statement was created by the SIGMS Executive Advocacy Committee - Lisa Perez, Doug Johnson, Joyce Valenza, Keisa Williams, Wendy Stephens and Ernie Cox. It was created at the request of ETAN to better help us advocate for school librarians. Watch for a call for volunteers in September for the SIGMS Advocacy Committee, chaired by Kathy Sanders, to continue this important work.

The opening sentence of the document is clear and uncompromising: "School librarians perform an integral role in promoting the effective use of educational technologies in their schools."

Technology in education is not an add-on or extra; it's an essential component in the toolbox of every teacher, especially teacher-librarians. Authentic learning experiences do not always require an online element. But when technology can extend or deepen understanding, appropriate tools need to be accessible to students...and teacher-librarians must be able to facilitate their use.

The ISTE SIGMS statement declares that, "Libraries support the curriculum, promote literacy development, and foster lifelong reading habits among children through the development of carefully selected print collections and the infusion of educational technology."

Print AND technology, not print OR technology. Our students need both, and it's the teacher-librarian's obligation to ensure that both are part of the library experience.

Please read "The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies" and share it with "administrators and other library stakeholders." Consider it a statement of how our profession can, and must, look in the the 21st century.

"science in the stacks" by SpecialKRB

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