Here we go ...

So, I've been at my job as a library media specialist for two years and three months. I'm beginning to get the hang of the job and I feel like I'm finally at a place where I can begin to think about more than the weekly read alouds, circulation, and shelving.

Several changes this school year gave me the nudge I needed to explore further what it means to work in a school library: I work more hours (thanks to a grant the district received); the new superintendent's emphasis on technology; a push towards 21st century learning; and the hiring of a tech-savvy teacher-librarian at the high school. Combined with my ever-present love of the internet, all of these factors were like a sign that I should be incorporating my interest in technology into my job. Undoubtedly, this is the way libraries are going; it's not enough to just read to kids and check books out to them. Libraries and library staff are going to have to change and adapt with the times.

Now, don't get me wrong -- books are still my first love and the first priority in my job. But technology can be an effective tool in making literacy (and information literacy) more accessible, more fun, and more of an attraction to some, if not most, students. In order for technology tools to actually make a difference in a child's learning, the primary wielder of those tools (that would be me) has to know how to properly use the tools. (A little off-topic, but the reference to tools reminded me of John Merrow's recent post about the tools teachers need to be "Nation Builders.")

That means there's a lot more learning that needs to be done on my part. Thankfully, the California School Library Association (of which I am a member) provides a free web 2.0 online learning program for teachers and librarians. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a procrastinator but I hope my prior web 2.0 knowledge and experience will keep me on course to complete it in a timely manner (there are nine weekly lessons). And so the journey begins ...

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