Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Don't overlook your school librarian, they're the unsung heroes of literacy | Teacher Network | Guardian Professional

librarians are depressingly underused, argues Sally Dring. Many
teachers would be amazed at how much support they can give them and
their students.

Library book checkout card

‘Many school librarians are seen purely as minders of a spare IT suite or as date label stampers.’ Photograph: Alamy

When talking about teaching and learning, most people don’t
immediately think of librarians. But in a school where the librarian or
learning resource centre manager is valued and properly made use of, we
can teach important skills.

Librarians are in the privileged position of being able to work with
teachers across all subjects and students of all ages, observing the
inner workings of a school from a slight distance.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the belief that students are adept at
using the latest technology to find the information they need is simply
not true. Students turn up in the library with the ubiquitous task of
researching a topic and they don’t know where to start. Usually they
head to Google, which takes them straight to Wikipedia (it’s top of the
list so it doesn’t take much effort). Wikipedia is handy if you know how
to use it properly, but many students need this explaining to them.
Should they choose to go to university, a Wikipedia footnote will not be

A librarian’s area of expertise is in information management and we
try to make the process of finding information easier for our students
and staff by providing relevant, reliable resources to support the areas
they are studying or teaching. We teach information literacy – finding,
assessing, evaluating, using and referencing information. We can also
share this knowledge with teachers if it’s needed, especially since some
find learning how to use new technology, or keeping up with the latest
programmes and websites, very difficult. Read more....

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