Heads in the Sand

This afternoon, I sat down to check out my Google Reader, and found that one of my amazing Texas library colleagues, Carolyn Foote, had crafted an excellent and wonderfully thought-provoking blog post entitled No Heads in the Sand Here. It’s a must-read, in my opinion, for teacher librarians—in fact for any librarians—as we face a changing landscape in our profession.

I started writing the following as a comment on Carolyn’s post, but it got longer and longer, so I decided maybe it was really more of a blog post in itself! Thank you Carolyn for so accurately capturing the zeitgeist of the library conversation of late!

I too love Hazen’s wording in the article you cite. Librarians “support and sustain … meaningful inquiry” and through effective collection development, we consciously create a “carefully crafted, deliberately maintained, constrained body of material.” Wow! I love that!

Librarians fill a unique role in the educational framework, in that we have these long-term goals of “meaningful inquiry” and a “deliberately maintained” body of sources uppermost in minds as we work with students. Classroom teachers care about these topics too, of course, but have many other objectives to meet as well. On many school campuses, it is the librarian that focuses student effort and guides them to use authoritative sources effectively. In an age when information of all types is abundant and ubiquitous, critical evaluation is a crucial skill—perhaps the crucial skill—for our students to acquire.

Foote’s words and those of the esteemed professionals cited in her post bolster my resolve as I find myself and many of my colleagues, more and more of the time, having to fight against the perception that librarians are obsolete. This, even as we make enormous, unique contributions to student success–supported by a huge and persuasive body of research, might I add. Thanks, @technolibrarian, for giving me a document to look back at that will help me to clarify my thoughts & words as I have these discussions with others. You’re always giving me great food for thought!

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