2 comments on “What is a good 21st century library program?

  1. Couldn’t agree more — we do need a standard measure for libraries, librarians, etc., something that says to everyone who only knows “library” as a word understands where their library stands in relation to national and state standards and to other libraries in their geographic area. (There’s nothing like competition in the good ‘ole USA to get people moving.)

    Joyce Valenza is right, too — we are watching the best of the education river from the riverbanks, and meanwhile, the smart people are jumping in and grabbing for the good stuff. What’s wrong with us? Even if you can’t swim, put on your floaties and grab what rightfully belongs to you!

    Would you take positive action to get your building/district to look face2face at where they are v. the national standards? Do you think they would care? Do you think having a comparison of some sort, even local, would gain community support for your library?

    I’m not just talking “the average number of books” type comparisons, although that would be helpful as well, but more along the lines of “your child can do xyz because of library experience,” where xyz might be something like find, locate, access, use, present information about abc? (And probably more sophisticated inquiry-based tasks beyond just that?) Well, students at xx% of the schools in (name your area/state/US) can — why can’t yours?

    I wonder if we don’t need to put some pressure on ourselves to rise from our complacency. Yes, complacency. For how many years have we been doing circulation, recommending materials, babysitting study halls, and the like, without complaint? If we truly are teachers, then let’s act like teachers.

    How often have we heard, “Oh, we don’t do that” and “you’ll have to get a sub to cover my classes for that meeting” and “I can’t have that many kids in my classroom at one time.” (What don’t we do when asked, without comment usually; who hasn’t had meetings in their office or at their desk WHILE they have a class going on; when was the last time you had less than 50 kids in an open library, more when there were classes there too.)

    Standards. School Board, you are under the national recommended resources/student by 63 percent, under the number of professionally-certified staff by 2.5 FTE; under the recommended $/student by $163.00 … who doesn’t think the number people in admin wouldn’t look at that, not to mention the members of the board who know how media eats up figures like those?

    Time to take the gloves off, folks. We’ve been the gentle, quiet folks for too long. Time to be pleasant but powerful.

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