Keeping up with the Joneses

“Today’s library is a learning place, not a warehouse space. And it must be a fluid environment, one that continually reinvents itself to remain relevant, that adapts to new knowledge of learning and new pedagogy.” — Rolf Erickson, 2011

We, the hAPPY librarians, have become increasingly interested and compelled by the big tent notion of librarianship (Woodworth, 2010) and view our collaborative blog on emerging technologies within three library domains: educational (academic and school) and public, as a modest contribution– an additional pole to keep the tent upright. Not content to construct yet another dialogic silo, our next step, post-quarter, is to produce a collaboratively curated web resource that provides access to the latest resources related to emerging technologies and librarianship. We think of emerging technologies in subsets: 1) communication/collaboration; 2) production and design; 3) virtual modeling; 4) file-sharing; and 5) social networking.

As preparation for the production of the web resource and a poster related to the current issues related to emerging technologies and librarianship, I conducted a preliminary literature review. I focused on the academic conversation related to emerging technologies, teacher librarians and training needs. As more and more individuals with master’s in educational technology fill librarian positions, it is clear that teacher librarians must continuously re-think their approach to technologies within the school environment and that taking a leadership role in thinking about and deploying information technologies has become a fundamental piece of twenty-first century praxis (Snyder & Miller, 2009). There is an unrelenting need to stay on the *bleeding edge* of technological innovation, to keep one’s professional offerings and librarianship relevant.  However, it remains important to be mindful of the limits of new media and to see the librarians’ role as an information steward, one that facilitates students’ use in ways that allow for a deeper engagement with subject matter and the development of higher order skills rather than facilitating use of *cool* apps for their own sake (Rushkoff, 2011).

As a participant in a recent study on school librarians and emerging technology explains, “technology is a moving target…[it is crucial to] model forward thinking and lifelong learning,” (Balauf_2009). Modeling this type of reflective and expansive engagement with information technologies benefits both the librarian and the school s/he is working within. It is impossible to know about every new application and every new tool, but it is possible to create flexible guidelines for use.

Selected Citations

Dr. Ann Carlson Weeks. (2012). Teacher Librarian, 39(3), 54.

Hanson-Baldauf, D., & Hassell, S. H. (January 01, 2009). The information and communication technology competencies of students enrolled in school library media certification programs. Library and Information Science Research, 31, 1, 3-11.

Perez, L. (2010). The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies. Teacher Librarian, 38(1), 72.

The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies. (2011). Library Media Connection,29(5), 19.

Rushkoff, D. (2011). We Interrupt This Program. School Library Journal, 57(2), 30.

Snyder, D. L., & Miller, A. L. (2009). School Library Media Specialists Inform Technology Preparation of Library Science Students: An Evidence-Based Discussion. Library Media Connection, 27(6), 22-25.


One thought on “Keeping up with the Joneses

  1. Pingback: Library Land Technology Guide | The hAPPy Librarians

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