Why Librarians are the Key to Future Ready Schools
While sometimes overlooked, librarians are the key to making future ready schools successful. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, “If properly prepared and supported, school librarians are well-positioned to be at the leading edge of the digital transformation of learning.” Recognizing the strength of librarians in fostering digital resources and teaching digital responsibility, Future Ready Schools have placed school librarians at the forefront of this movement for good reason.
Librarians Curate Appropriate Digital Resources
School librarians are responsible for developing not only the library’s collection of books but also its collection of digital resources. Librarians, therefore, have the unique task of selecting the most appropriate educational technology to enhance student learning. They research, select, and purchase educational technology that best supports their school’s academic needs.
Additionally, librarians are the first ones to learn to use the new technologies and are often tasked with teaching others how to use it effectively. This is key because librarians have expertise in the areas of digital content strategies; therefore, they should be involved in the planning and implementation of digital resources.
Librarians Teach Digital Responsibility
An alarming study by Stanford recently found that students in middle school through college “failed to effectively evaluate the credibility of that information” in online resources. This is another reason why librarians are essential for future ready schools. Future ready schools aim to help students learn and master digital learning, which includes distinguishing between real and fake online content. Librarians are skilled at teaching students how to evaluate content and online sources for credibility.
Along these same lines, librarians are also the key to teaching students how to be digitally and ethically responsible. For instance, librarians are the ones battling for student privacy in a world where people can gain access to a student’s private data and use it maliciously. Their understanding of both privacy laws and digital resources allows them to help teachers and students become savvy digital citizens.
Librarians Provide Space for Creative and Collaborative Learning
With a dedicated space for students to gather, learn and work together, libraries should be the principal place of creative and collaborative learning in a school. It has space for students to work collaboratively on projects and often includes technology not found in the classrooms.
Furthermore, librarians amass digital resources that allow students to be creators – one of the goals of future-ready schools. Within a library, students have access to digital resources and technologies that they will use beyond the classroom and into the future.