The Making of the Modern Librarian: The Value of School Libraries

A virtual reality field trip. A lesson on how to create a podcast. A tutorial on how to create a paper circuit board that uses LED lights. For a new generation of educators, these pursuits have something in common: They’re all appropriate learning exercises that can take place in the school library. Makerspaces, or library media centers that encourage collaboration and support student invention, are on the rise across the United States.

This has always been the case, but in a prevailing learning culture that promotes outside-the-box problem solving, these activities are growing more common in the 21st-century school library. At the intersection of analog and digital learning opportunities, the value of school libraries has increased at all levels of education. And at the helm of these spaces, school librarians must negotiate how best to support students with library resources, adapt to new technological advancements in education and pass on the fundamental tenets of digital and information literacy to students.

As the U.S. public education system has evolved throughout its history, school libraries have also developed with a consistent central goal: to give students the best opportunity to succeed academically.…Read More

New report maps young Americans’ library, technology use

Younger Americans depend on libraries not just for books, but for technology access, too.

Nearly all young Americans under age 30 are online, and as library patrons, are more likely than older generations to use library technology such as computers and internet connections, according to “Younger Americans’ Library Habits and Expectations,” a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Along the same lines, young Americans’ library use combines traditional and technological services. While those under age 30 are just as likely as older adults to visit a library and borrow paper books, they are much more likely than older adults to use library technology, including computers, internet, and research resources such as databases.

Americans ages 16-29 are significantly more likely to have used library technology or to have remotely accessed library websites and services.…Read More