My inaugural post! I suddenly feel as though I have officially entered the 21st century! I feel very excited to be blogging!
I am currently a high school teacher in a suburb of Chicago. Much to my dismay, one of the main services that was cut last year in the district that I serve in were library services. The high school where I teach is down to 1 full time librarian (for 2,800 students!) and the "head" of the library does not have an LIS degree. We have also converted the library in to a "learning commons" lay out. Along with the stacks, we have computer labs, mediascape units, LCD projectors, and LOTS of tables and chairs. This makes me think a lot, and worry a lot, about what the "space" means in the context of a library.
We of course, want students to want to come to the library for more than books, and for a library to be seen more as a resource for every aspect of their learning, not just a place to "goof off." My worry is, that we have turned our library space in to a "hang out." One librarian can't possibly make sure every student in the new "learning commons" is on task, being productive, using, and learning about all the resources a library has to offer. In an attempt to make the space "cool" are we losing the ability to make the library an extension of, and an enhancement to, regular classroom learning?
I have a lot of questions and worries, and I hope that my role as a teacher at the school, a resource teacher in these new "learning commons," and as a soon-to-be library professional I will be able to help shape this in to a bigger, better, more modern LIBRARY. I want it to be the "cool" place to be because it supports not only student's academic needs, but also serves to make a library a place for fulfilling recreation.
I can't help but think about Dr. Seuss' classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go! I have always seen that rhyme as a warning, yes new is necessary, but it isn't always better. Change means keeping the good traditions, and adding in new traditions that serve to improve an already fantastic institution---the idea of a library in every school!