We are coming to the end of library week, and being that I am an avid reader I thought I would keep this short, and encourage you to go out and visit your local library. You can’t beat the smell when walking in, of those old books, and the silence that greets you in the warm, inviting building. If you are not such a fan of going out, then here is a link to some of the current bestsellers so that you can at least grab a good book online. Whichever you choose, I hope you get a couple of hours today, either by yourself, or as a family, to read a good book!
While we should honor Librarians every day, today we honor them specifically as it is Honor our School Librarians Day. Libraries have changed so much since I was in school, when you used to have to walk to the card catalog, pull out a drawer, find the card for the book you wanted (hoping it was there) and then walking to the shelf to find the book (hoping that was there). Let’s face it, much of the time when you got to the book, even though it said it was in stock, it was misplaced, checked out, or never returned. Of course, as with the change of everything once computers became more relevant, the system moved to computers, to make things more efficient. While yes, there are definitely some advantages, like having books on eReaders, and not having to open those card catalogs up, there are some drawbacks to Librarians not playing as big of a role.
According to the article I found on the Scholastic website (ironic yes), “a funny thing seems to be happening to librarians on the way to extinction. The savviest districts are remaking the position, breaking media specialists out of the library and bringing them into the classroom to help with projects and research”. It would appear that the role of the librarian is evolving, along with technology, which is great. Librarians are a wealth of information. They are required to earn their masters in library science, after receiving their bachelor’s degree. I found this information on studentscholarships.org regarding the MLS program. “Most programs take one year to complete; some take two. A typical graduate program includes courses in the foundations of library and information science, such as the history of books and printing, intellectual freedom and censorship, and the role of libraries and information in society.” Their roles are not just about books, but the knowledge they need spans to so much more. Which is why it is important that they continue to prosper, and help with our learning process.
I am still thankful to the librarians I had throughout my academic career. I thank you, and I am glad they have figured out a way to evolve your role.