David Lee King has written another thought-provoking and insightful post about changes in our culture and society that he feels will impact the way we do “business” as libraries. In the first part of his article, King outlines changes in our economy and society that reflect a fundamental shift. He points out that the majority of materials we house in libraries are undergoing a significant transformation or going away altogether (print magazines and newspapers, the rise of digital books and readers, the advent of subscription services for music and videos). He poses this question to his fellow librarians:
How are you starting to re-think your services and libraries?
While this post is geared toward a public library audience, I can’t help but wonder how we as school librarians might answer this question? Are we paying attention to the change that is happening right now? Are we thinking about how these changes will impact the way school libraries function in the short and long term future? Are we thinking about how our school libraries will need to adapt as these profound changes occur? Should we have already been thinking about these things? How does this affect you as an elementary, middle/junior high, or high school teacher-librarian?
Are we open to change and the possibilities it brings? I have a poster in my office that looks something like this:
Are we willing to surrender what we are for what we could become? Are school libraries on the cusp of a sea-change? For me, the question is not “if” we will adapt, but “how” will we adapt? How can we use this opportunity to tap into these changes to position information literacy as a mainstream literacy that is taught by all educators, not just the school library media specialist?
These questions weigh heavy on my mind tonight. Please take some time to read King’s post and share your thoughts. Shift has happened, continues to happen, and will keep happening—will we stand still, or will we shift too?