Sunday, September 7, 2008

Role of the SLMC in response to Web 2.0

Reviewing the syllabus for the class this blog was originated, I learn that the reflections included are often to be in response to certain questions. Thus, a reflection on the changes in the role of the SLMC in response to Web 2.0 innovations such as RSS, podcasting, Wikipedia, and Google's book scanning plans . . . .

While Web 2.0 offers information in many different forms over the Internet, it has not eliminated the need for libraries in or out of school. Certainly the advent of Web 2.0 and all of the tools associated with it has altered the role of the school library media specialist and, in many cases, the appearance of the library. There has been an obvious alteration in the number of computers available, the addition of high speed Internet service, and in some cases a shrinking of the reference section. The "role" of the Library Media Center itself, though, has changed only slightly.

Traditionally, the LMC has been the location where students are introduced to and encouraged to read for pleasure, relax outside the hustle of the rest of the school, and to learn and practice the using research tools available. In vibrant, successful SLMC's today the same things are happening.

Students, who learn how to access and use many of the Web 2.0 tools on their own, may believe that the library serves no useful purpose as a center for research. Though great skills, ability to access and use tools like the Google toolbar, Wikipedia, RSS feeds of favorite blogs, and to create one's own blog, wiki, or website are not proof of information literacy. Arguably the on-line aspects of information literacy could be taught outside the library though I would rebut that information literacy is not taught solely online and is best taught by the one-two combination of a good teacher and a qualified librarian.

The role of the SLMS and SLMC are evolving and, undoubtedly, will continue to evolve but, at the core, remain very much the same as they ever were.

No comments: