Be the change. Be a model for all of the characteristics of a 21st Century information professional. Move effortlessly in the networks of your PLN, sharing, learning and growing. Pay it forward. Promote discovery, curiosity and creativity to your students and do everything in your power to give them the tools to do so. (Stephens, 2012).
Professor Stephens shares with us two examples of resistance in the Module12 lecture. The first was a librarian who explained that they were unable to adapt new technologies in the library because they were still showing users how to use a mouse. The second was a librarian afraid the sewing machine would break and she wouldn’t know how to fix it. Both of these examples indicate to me that these librarians are afraid of change. Professor Stephens acknowledges change is a concern for librarians because technologies change so quickly and it is difficult to keep up. However, if libraries are to remain relevant, librarians will need to learn, explore and play with technology to meet the increasing demands of the customers. Change is a concept explored by Casey and Savastinuk in their book Library 2.0. They state that Library 2.0 is a model of constant and purposeful change (p.5). Change is vital to the evolution of libraries so that we can reach out to new users, build new services, and respond to our customers demands (p.37).
When Devil Advocates speak out against change and dampen imagination or possibilities, we need to remind ourselves that these folks are expressing their fear. Some ways to overcome fear, especially if it is related to technologies is to play. Through play we can learn, teach, and become less frightened of technology (Stephens, lecture and 2012). As Michael Stephens states “Rapid technological advances continue to change the way we communicate, share and learn”. Change is a constant, librarians and teachers must accept this as our children navigate the technological world.
The tools may change—many of the more recent programs have added Twitter and Facebook—but the goals remain the same: library staff should explore, work together to play with emerging technology, reflect on the usefulness of those tools, and examine their application in information settings. (Stephens, 2011).
Not only librarians need to adapt to the new emerging technology world but teachers too.
I was speaking with a teacher this weekend who was discussing technology in the classroom. He had given his grade one students a writing assignment to complete and one student had difficulty spelling a word. The student raised her hand and asked the teacher how to spell the difficult word. The teacher asked if the word was a sight word, ‘No”, he asked if the word was spelt somewhere in the classroom, ‘No”, and then the teacher asked the student to use their learning skills to spell the word, meaning to sound the word out. The student reached for her mobile device, and asked Siri how to spell the word. As an information professional I was super excited about this solution because the student knew where to get the information and displayed some technical skills to find the information she required. Of course the teacher had a whole different perspective. But isn’t that the world we live in? I mean at one time the student would have consulted a dictionary, but now we have Siri!
My youngest struggles with reading. She loves books and stories but she is reading at a much lower ‘grade level’ then she should be. As a parent I am not concerned because I know there are many different technologies that can help her. I am also not concerned because she has a wonderful imagination and can take any picture book and tell you an amazing story by looking at the pictures. Yes, she does not read the words on the page but her story is beautiful, imaginative, and funny. She uses Google Read and Write to help her with her school work. Technology has helped her not fall behind in her classwork and maintain her grades.
And let’s look at learning from an adult’s perspective. This weekend our alarm system was indicating “trouble’, the ‘intake’ light on our dishwasher was blinking, and our shower tap was leaking. Thank goodness for Youtube and handy people that want to help others. My husband was able to watch Youtube videos in the palm of his hand, learn how to diagnose the causes, and eventually fixed all these problems! Saved us a lot of money too!
So what does this mean for library’s?
“Developing skills for sharing information in various media beyond traditional written text is also growing in importance” (Lippincott, 2015).
A library is becoming a place with accessible information, devices and tools. Libraries are no longer book warehouses, they are spaces where early literacy skills are developed through play (Bookey, 2015, para.4) Libraries are community hubs, connecting people with different skills and asking them to play and create in a safe and collaborate space (Nygren, 2014). Libraries are classrooms and the best part is….librarians do not assign a grade to creations, they just provide the necessary equipment and let the users’ imaginations do the rest.
Bookey, J. L. (2015). 8 Awesome Ways Libraries Are Making Learning Fun.
Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service.
Stephens, M. (2011). Lessons from learning 2.0.
Stephens, M. (2012). Learning everywhere: A roadmap.
Stephens, M. (2014). Library as Classroom.
Stephens, M. (2017). Lecture: Hyperlinked library: Library as Classroom. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online: https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=cbe60886-1263-4fc3-bf56-806bfeb44607