I really like this quote from the YouTube video School Library Leadership: Leading Libraries into the Future, (Mansfield University, 2013), and feel it perfectly sums up the role and expectations of teacher librarian’s in the 21st century.
“With the advent of technology and the proliferation of information, a library is everywhere. It’s a conceptual approach to our world of information. Not all information is equal, and teacher librarian’s need to help teachers and students make sense of all this information, and then use it creatively and innovatively, in order to create our own future”.
Barbara Stripling, Director of Library Services, NYC Department of Education. (Mansfield University, 2013).
This has been an amazing journey for me as I have never considered a teacher librarian to be a leader other than within a library context. However, in this 21st century instant digital information and communication environment, I have come to recognise how their roles have greatly expanded and extended to incorporate the latest information and digital literacy skills and multimedia technologies into educational contexts which transfer into life skills as future digital citizens.
The pressure on teacher librarians to achieve ‘miracles’ by school communities will be on-going as digital technologies and global communications are constantly changing and evolving, and as leaders in information technology and literacy they will be required to effectively plan and prepare both teachers and students to not only embrace these changes, but also engage as active participants in this information revolution. Collaboration, advocacy and professional partnerships are all important components of the leadership role teacher librarians will be expected to undertake, in order to establish effective information and digital literacy teaching and learning programs within an ethical and authoritative technological environment.
It is a huge and daunting task; but I see it as inevitable in this information age especially within an educational context where students are so adept with media communication and technologies, but need a teacher librarian’s guidance and expertise to develop, perfect, and extend these abilities and skills. It’s an exciting challenge too, one I hope to embrace in the future!
School Library Leadership: Leading Libraries into the Future. YouTube video. Mansfield University’s online School Library and Information Technologies M.Ed. program, New York, USA: 2013).