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Librarians, what are they good for?

By johnboy - 28 May 2010 12

The Canberra Times is bemoaning the lack of demand for “teacher librarians” which in turn is leading to a decline in this ancient and noble tradition in Canberra and elsewhere.

Does anyone care?

Teacher librarians

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12 Responses to
Librarians, what are they good for?
astrojax 7:25 pm 29 May 10

Don’t know if the lack there is indicative of school librarians being replaced by Mrs Thing the volunteer, or if it’s just that they’re used to finding things the easy way without fishing for it.

i’d suspect it is both. from my interactions with young’uns, while they are able to find something on the net, it must be true ’cause otherwise ‘they’ wouldna put it there, eh?

something kids seem to lack is a deep understanding that is there is no ‘they’ and the sooner this is instilled – and a librarian, an information expert, is the ideal person to enforce this lesson, while parents and other teachers should reinforce it. so the role should be assessed as a critical one for any school lead manager head honkey, or whatever the principal’s title is these days, not someone who can be supplanted by volunteer mrs thing.

Kath 2:25 am 29 May 10

You’re no troll, Woody. In the early days of usenet we got real trolls, 8 feet high if they were an inch. And my modem was so slow I had to wait a day for each insulting line of text to load. 🙂

I spend most days teaching gen y undergrads Information literacy that they’ve missed out on in school – they can all find stuff in google and use wikipedia, but most can’t assess the quality of what they’re looking at, or really analyse their question. Don’t know if the lack there is indicative of school librarians being replaced by Mrs Thing the volunteer, or if it’s just that they’re used to finding things the easy way without fishing for it.The rest of the time I’m assessing resources for purchase and writing metadata to make stuff retrievable.

bd84 11:46 pm 28 May 10

The demand for gas powered lanterns declined as electicity came about, maybe we could keep some teacher librarians in a museum somewhere to reminisce about the old days. A lot of things become obsolete has new and better things are invented, teacher librarians in their current form are obviously one of them.

But to be honest, back in my days at school 10-20 years ago, they were only good for finding the book via the card catalogue and processing the loan of the library book using the stamp and card in the pouch at back of the book..

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:08 pm 28 May 10

Ooh, Mosaic. I’ll see your Mosaic and raise you following busted Gopher links on a VT100 to get to a telnet prompt so we could play MUDs, and that was luxury.

Here’s a clue for you: we all have the net now. We can all use the net for research, access our own databases, provide our own information. My eight-year old niece is more information literate than you were in the ‘early 1990s’. Google has made you redundant. I snort derisively at your ‘time-saving skills’: it’s quicker for me to find it myself than to look up your extension, let alone tell you what I need. You’re the tea lady of the new millennium, the typing pool in an iPad age.

laughtong 6:25 pm 28 May 10

I happen to be a Librarian, although not in a school.

I was using mosaic – remember that – for research in the early 1990s.
Many of you probably missed that early phase of what has become the net.
I was using the net for research, access to databases and information provision from the mid 1990s.

P1 I suggest you actually visit the ACT public library website http://www.library.act.gov.au/ to see the range of resources on offer.
Visit the National Library website http://www.nla.gov.au/ and try searching a Australian topic of interest in Trove!

It is an awful long while since libraries were only about hard copy print resources.

Information literacy is what school librarians primarily teach – something that will be essential for the next generation.

Fortunately (for us) or unfortunately (for research support) we are a rapidly aging profession, and in another 5-10 years there will be a real shortage of the time-saving skills we have to offer. That is part of the current discussion, that already it is becoming difficult to source qualified staff for all the newly built/renovated school libraries.

Hackett Heckler 4:48 pm 28 May 10

p1 said :

Hackett Heckler said :

Get a grip people your ignorance is showing….

Umm, you mean that majority of voters who appear to agree with you? Or my post, which suggests that the librarians need to be up-to-date (implying the library should also be modern, as you have pointed out, they often lead the way)?

When I first posted they were all for sending them after the whip and Buggy …couldn’t have that 🙂 I need Libraries and Librians for Research etc…

It is a shame that schools are not supporting these Librarian Teachers, next we could let the kiddies sit on a computer all day and not need teachers…and then we could let them do it from home and not need schools..

Just a thought 🙂 Don’t tell Stanhope.

georgesgenitals 12:01 pm 28 May 10

p1 said :

..the old, creepy ladies with the funny eye that usually inhabit the average High School Library.

Those chicks are so hot.

p1 12:00 pm 28 May 10

Hackett Heckler said :

Get a grip people your ignorance is showing….

Umm, you mean that majority of voters who appear to agree with you? Or my post, which suggests that the librarians need to be up-to-date (implying the library should also be modern, as you have pointed out, they often lead the way)?

astrojax 11:55 am 28 May 10

…absolutely nothin’ [say it again!] hwwoah!!

oh, hang on, that’s ‘war’, innit…

librarians are a profession that develops our capacity to research and maintain information literacy, no matter how the communication is effected. so they will endure; and long may they!

Mike_Davis 11:40 am 28 May 10

My youth wouldn’t have been the same without a teacher librarian to rouse on me 😛

They have a unique perspective that sets them apart from the average teacher. Anything that brings variety into the system has my vote.

Hackett Heckler 11:38 am 28 May 10

Libraries and Librarians have been leading the way with technology. The embraced the internet very early when it was nothing like we have today.

Heard of Data Bases, online research at places like the National Library, National Archives, War Memorial to name a few.. even… GOOGLE and Wikipedia.

Try doing researching your Family Tree.

what about all those Documents that make up our History and are kept safe and secure.

Get a grip people your ignorance is showing….

p1 10:14 am 28 May 10

I would say that they need to evolve along with the new world order (intawebz) or find themselves extinct. Could be a problem for the old, creepy ladies with the funny eye that usually inhabit the average High School Library.

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