The teacher librarian must be an proactive professional committed to creating a community of lifelong learners.

Over the past several decades the focus of the library media program has shifted from building a warehouse of materials to an emphasis on creating a collborative community of lifelong learners. The chart below shows other shifts in thinking and programs:

Backward Thinking
Forward Thinking
print materials
information in all forms
information literacy
as separate subject
information literacy
across the curriculum
catalog cards
automated systems
book-based budget
multi-dimensional budget
single funding sources
multiple funding sources

eye means readRead Introduction in Information Power.
Chapter 1: The Vision
in Information Power.

Why are school libraries important?

Unique in the school, the library media program has the potential to reach every aspect of teaching and learning. However this is only possible through collaborative planning related to curriculum, collection, and facilities development. The quality of your program is directly related to your ability to positively impact teaching and learning.

As a library media professional, you must be an advocate for school libraries as well as teachers and learners. This means collecting evidence about the effectiveness of your program, while highlighting your efforts as well as the efforts of others.

eye means readRead The impact of school library media centers on academic achievement by Keith Curry Lance in SLMQ, 22(3), Spring 1994.

eye means readRead White House Conference on School Libraries, June 4, 2002.
Notice the updated remarks by Keith Curry Lance.
Don't miss the remarks by Kathleen Smith.

Check Your Understanding

info powerInformation Power: Building Partnerships for Learning is built around nine information literacy standards designed to guide and support library media specialists' efforts in three major areas:
learning and teaching, information access, program administration

info powerInformation Power - The focus of the school library media program has moved from resources to students to creating a community of lifelong learners. Students and their learning remain at the core of library media programs and services, shaping the functions of school library media specialists. (p v)

info powerInformation Power - The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. (p. 6-7)

Consider how school libraries have changed over the past forty years. What do you see as the major changes in curriculum, collections, and facilities? What do you see as changes in philosophies, perspectives, and approaches?

Make It Real

How have school library media programs changed over the past fifty years? How have they remained the same?

Talk with a library media specialist about how his or her role as evolved. Also, talk to an experienced classroom teacher about how they've seen their school library change. Do you think their experiences are typical? Why or why not?

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