Within the past few days the brand new free e-book from Kristin Fontichiaro and Buffy Hamilton has been released.
School Libraries: What’s now, what’s next, what’s next to come is made up of a series of essays by a wide range of librarians from several countries expressing their varied views of school libraries as they are now and how the could be in the future.
In the words of Dr. R. David Lankes, Professor and Dean’s Scholar for the New Librarianship, Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, Syracuse, New York, who wrote the Foreward for this book:
“To evangelize is more than simply reciting the message. To advocate is to go beyond agreeing with a cause. To truly seek change is to live our own message. We, as librarians, must talk the talk and walk the walk. If you see yourself as a vital partner with teachers, you had better have teachers that say the same of you. If you seek to turn students into passionate learners, you must also learn – every day. You must become nothing less than a radical positive change agent. It is not enough to create a haven of true learning in your library — you must spread that environment throughout the school.”
And what do I say? HEAR, HEAR!! I love this message. It speaks so strongly of my own vision I wish I’d written it myself!
What’s even better is that I was able to be part of this truly global, collaborative e-book as one of three New Zealanders to respond to the call for submissions. I’m so proud to be in the company of my friend and colleague Donna Watt and the charismatic Rob Baigent from Any Questions
Some would say, rightly, that I have an awful lot to say for myself and in this instance I didn’t confine myself to just one essay. I got so fired up writing the first one on collaboration I couldn’t help myself and went on to write another one on networking and flock-mates. If you want to read them, you’ll find them here: in chapter 9 and 10 respectively. Pages 139 and 154.
And the last word comes, again from David Lankes :
In this book you will read others views on the future and what concerns school librarians. These are the voices of the brave and the concerned. You must add your voice. If you read these essays and disagree, then disagree and suggest another view. If you read these and agree, then voice your support. If you read these and learn, use your learning and teach others. If, on the other hand you read these essays and voices and remain mute, you abdicate the future. Don’t.
Please now do the following things:
- Download this book and read it
- Really think about the issues that get under your skin, or spin your wheels
- Respond with action – talk to someone about something you’re passionate about or do something to effect change – it doesn’t matter how small or insignificant you think it might be – just do it!
- Please give us your feedback. It’s how we grow, learn and change and it keeps these vital and important conversations going
And finally I just need to say – I love being a school librarian – that’s all.