Back in February I blogged on how school librarians transform student learning. The idea came from an initiative ALA was developing. It has now blossomed into a campaign. The new website focusing on it, Librarians Transform should be one you check regularly. Also sign up to receive updates.
The campaign, in the words of the website is, “Designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals, the Libraries Transform campaign will ensure there is one clear, energetic voice for our profession. Showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age.” Note the emphasis on “one clear … voice.” This means no matter what type of library you are in, you should be using the wording of the campaign. It ensures that people recognize the value of all libraries and come to value what we bring.
I particularly like the large statement on the home page, “Because Transformation is Essential to the Communities We Serve.” Although AASL first focused on how we transform student learning, it’s important to recognize our role in transforming the entire school community. It is a big job, but we are the ones most aware of areas rooted in the past that no longer serve the present. Through our understanding of tech resources we can gently guide others into making changes that will impact everyone within our school and potentially our district.
Immediately below that opening statement is wonderful short video showing, “The ways in which libraries transform are as nuanced and varied as the people they serve. Physical transformations are easy to spot. Transformations in service and scope can be less apparent, but are ever changing. This video is the first of many sharable tools created to spark conversation on the transformed library and library professional.” After you have seen that one, you can look at two others.
If you scroll down, you come to boxes explaining Why Libraries Are Transforming including: Because the World is at Their Fingertips and the World Can Be a Scary Place, Because More Than One-Quarter of U.S. Households Don’t Have an Internet Connection, and Because Employers Want Candidates Who Know the Difference Between Search and Research. (Colleges do as well.)
At the top of the page there are three tabs: Because, Trends, and Toolkit. What I just described is part of Because. If you click on Trends, you see twenty colorful circles each with a trend identified by The Center for the Future of Libraries. Among the ones most related to school librarians are: Digital Natives, Flipped Classroom, Gamification, Maker Movement, and Connected Learning. You might also want to explore Drones, Robots, Unplugged, Sharing Economy, and Privacy Shifting. Or look at all of them.
Each Trend opens with a statement defining what it is. How It’s Developing explores the factors that have combined to make it a trend and how it is evolving. Why It Matters explains what problems it may cause for some people and what librarians can do to help. Since we are librarians, below each trend are links to Notes and Resources.
The last tab, Toolkit, seems to still be under development. However, you can download The Top Ten Ways (and One Bonus!) to Engage with the American Library Association’s Libraries Transform Campaign. You can also download web banners and posters of the opening Because boxes in a variety of sizes.
Watch this video of ALA President Sari Feldman and her “Transform” tour in four Washing D.C. locations http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/libraries-transform-across-dc/
This is a great resource. Do become part of the campaign and enlist the other librarians in your district and state associations to join as well.