As the school year transitions to a new beginning, I have been reading several articles related to the deep cuts school districts across the nation are having to make to keep teachers in the classrooms. The decision to cut a school librarian so that kindergarteners will have a teacher is not uncommon. Luckily,some states, including Arkansas, Indiana and Kentucky, require every public school to employ a certified librarian. However, how long will it be until those states decide Librarians are not needed?
I hope that school administrators will understand the growing need to keep school librarians as our literacy needs continue to change. Students must have the ability to read, write, and interact within a multitude of social and media platforms. Transliteracy must be taught and librarians are the professionals to teach these skills.
According to the National Library of New Zealand Blog posting
How do school libraries fit?
One of the major concerns about multiple literacies or transliteracy voiced here and overseas, is about the divide between those who do and those who don’t have these skills.
The school and its library are a good place to address that divide, to give access to the tools and teach the competencies, especially for those students who come from a home that has limited access to a computer or to broadband Internet.
It is in fact critical, that all students learn multifaceted literacy competencies at school if they are to be effective adult participants in our democracy and our society generally.
The pace of change from an analogue to a digital environment is accelerating. The ability to navigate effectively through the future landscape of data and information to find and utilize valid information for any purpose is a basic skill that will underpin others.
School libraries therefore are well placed to provide access to and learning opportunities for students to become skilled users of text, data, and other information that will form the foundations of other learning.