2020 Vision: An uncommon future for school libraries

State Library of New South WalesI am attending (and presenting at) the Australian School Library Association (NSW) professional seminar at the State Library of NSW, on Saturday 17th February. Along with me will be two other excellent presenters – Westley Field and Leanne Cameron, who will set the scene for our enquiry into the future of school libraries.

This will be the first of a number of presentations I will make this year on the theme of our ‘uncommon’ future. Though I know that we have many evangelists amongst the global community who present, blog, and otherwise promote the future directions we must take, they are a long way from Australia. So here I am on my soapbox box.

So, welcome to those who are at my session. This post is for you :-) as it provides you with the main Del.ici.ous link for the State Library day, as well as a home-base on HeyJude for further reading and exploration of the global debate in this field. You will find my Web 2.0 Toolset at the bottom of the Resources page.

A theme that will run through each of the threads today will be the changing landscape of our digital world – our flat classrooms – and the convergence of technologies and social networking into everyday life providing fsscinating and challenging possibilities for school libraries.

Web 2.0 tools are important, but their impact goes much deeper than their networking ‘novelty’ might suggest. The tools for information seeking, and the spaces for information sharing are also changing and developing. It is important to become familiar with these and to rise to the challenge.

Individuals and organisations alike are finding new and increasingly effective ways of connecting through Web 2.0 technology. Our students are living that connection. This is the human side of this Web 2.0 transformation.

What does Web 2.0 really mean for school libraries? As we create conversations, conections and a Web 2.0 learning community we are opening the door to a better library future.

I am happy to say that this is beginning to happen – and many of my schools are seeking ways to create better learning spaces, better use of Web 2.0, and better ways to collaborate with teachers and promote student learning all the while. Don’t get me wrong – it is a challenge. But my teachers and teacher librarians are responding to the challenge – all in different ways – but all moving forward with curiosity and enthusiasm.

So our libraries and our classrooms need to embrace Web 2.0, and in so doing create new processes and products, leading to new forms of digital pedagogy and digital scholarship.

Let me share Michael’s words (who is a real inspiraton), as he explained how he is using Web 2.0 within our school’s learning management system (CeNet):

I must say this is a really challenging year for me this year, but I’m enjoying it. Here’s a brief snapshot of some of the things I and others have been doing :

  • webcams for animations, filming/evaluating student work, podcasting important lessons, etc.
  • wordpress and blogger blogs for tasks which neatly incorporate some online work (eg. posting photos, sound files, website references and research and utilising internet related mutimedia like youtube etc.)
  • CeNet for online activities, eg. ELFs which enable submission of electronic work
  • rss feeding for students subscribing to and commenting on other students blogs as well as other web content, eg. SMH or ABC online feeds
  • online web 2.0 tools for scaffolding, eg. gliffy and read-write-think for timelines, concept maps, etc.
  • cenet for making electronic material available for all students after hours.

Michael is using blogs with his French class, and subscribes to their blogs with RSS – so all the student work is delivered right to his desktop!

Let me share France’s blogsite, HFS Conversations, that she set up for providing professional discussion for her school staff. An energetic Teacher Librarian, Francis has initiated many projects, but this blog was a nice effort for a staff training session – and will provide a place for ongoing Web 2.0 learning support for the teachers.

Just two examples of many that are emerging – and I love it!

One thought on “2020 Vision: An uncommon future for school libraries

  1. Hi Judy

    Many thanks for the eyeopening day – though the amount of information was a bit overwhelming (and I have already looked at some Web 2.0 tools myself!). I tried to find the diagram you had which categorised Web 2.0 tools – am I missing somewhere obvious? Will definitely be revisiting your pages, especially the Resources page, and keeping in touch with your Del.ici.ous links.

    Whoever thinks we can cut back TL time in schools is crazy – we need MORE IT-savvy TLs with MORE TIME to devote to Web 2.0 to keep the school community well trained and in touch with these technologies!!

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