Tag Archive | outreach

Future of Librarianship

I am very excited to be working in the library world right now! This digital age has made the librarian field blossom and continues to constantly change. I find this highly interesting about the field and what this will bring for the future.

I am also concerned about this field as well, because many of the old stereotypes of librarians still hold. The stuffy, uptight, strict  librarian who will “ssh” anyone talking to loud. This is detrimental to the field because in this digital age people need helpful gatekeepers to information. And  librarians should be the ones leading the field. Also, there is somewhat of a digital divide in libraries. There are some who are keeping up with current technology and trends, while others are left in the dust with limited technology available. I feel that all libraries and librarians should be at least aware and updated on current technologies such as databases, eBooks, tablets, and apps. This is how librarians can advocate for a place in the digital world by understanding it and able to navigate it.

This is where the problems arise because it’s not only the frame of mind of the librarian willing to implement new technology and services at the library, but there needs to be funding as well. This ties directly into people coming into our library to use programs and materials. Librarians need to be actively advocating to keep patrons coming in but also to keep up finding from state legislature.  If we are able to continue to influence our patrons and communities that we are worthwhile than libraries and librarianship will continue to have a place in the digital age.


The Need for Collaboration

I found another crucial work that should be read by all librarians, information professionals,  educators, administrators, parents, ans even politicians. this is major issue that needs to be fixed by the government all the way down to parents teaching in their homes. If today’s children can not read to evaluate, analyze, or comprehend the information that they’ve read how are we to survive as as free thinking society?

Readicide defined by Kelly Gallagher is “the systematic killing of  the love of reading , often exacerbated by the inane, mind-numbing practices found in schools”(2). This is a extremely harsh and eye opening book about how schools have centered their curriculum around test preparedness and have dropped the necessity of reading.  Gallagher has supported his argument with supplementary studies, research, and even his own experiences as a teacher.  Gallagher points out that Sustained Silent Reading is crucial in developing a habit of reading and also is a form of test investment. Gallagher even uses Stephen Krashen’s the Power of Reading to back up his claim. Krashen’s book is another influential work of the importance that reading can have on a child’s development.

Gallagher’s book is focused toward teachers and how they can implement these ideas into their curriculum however there is a message for librarians to take away from this as well. First off, if librarians understand what is going on in the schools, and how reading is dying then librarians can supplement literacy skills with the library’s materials. Second, librarians can see this as a opportunity to join forces with the teachers to reinforce reading in the schools.

Some of Gallagher’s advice can also apply to librarians as well. Taking a stand- as librarians we can go to parents, educators, administration, and community members and advocate for reading to be reinstated in schools, homes, and how the library can assist them. Use books with real world text- Librarians can acquire materials such as newspapers, magazines, periodicals, and online sources to give children and teens to read as current event material. Fight against summer reading loss-Librarians are instrumental in this situation by providing ample recreational reading for youth and a exciting summer reading program. This can help fight against the loss of reading levels during the summer.

And most of all, with each of these actions it is crucial for librarians and teachers to be collaborating on this subject. In Twenty-first Century Kids,  Twenty-First Century Librarians by Virginia Walter, she also values the collaboration of librarians and educators. Walters explains that there should be goals that the partnership sets like,  producing real benefits, have a network of communication,  and must have more than the exchange of getting something each wants.  Walters and Gallagher’s works go hand in hand for librarians because they both promote the same ideas; collaboration  outreach, reading, and the role of librarians.

If our society wants at all to become better and effectively educate tomorrow’s future, then Gallagher’s advice should be taken seriously. As librarians we should be aware of the impact of reading and include this in our agenda when we coordinate with other information professionals.