Media specialists can play key role in literacy efforts
- Sheryl Parker, library media specialist at Southside Middle School in Tallassee, AL, writes for eSchool News that those in her role can play a critical part in reducing barriers that prevent students from reading.
- Parker suggests an approach that offers a vast digital library accessible via school-issued devices in conjunction with the physical library, using software to support struggling readers, and collaborating with teachers on interventions for those students.
- She concludes that, as schools continue to evolve, so too must the media specialist role if it is to remain relevant and best serve students.
As schools have evolved and incorporated more tech, the role of the librarian has evolved into that of the "media specialist," helping oversee school technology use alongside their traditional duties. Recent months have seen particular attention given to "fake news" and the role librarians can play in helping students become digitally literate, able to think critically and discern what is real online.
Beyond that, a group of librarians on a panel at this year's SXSWedu conference, titled "Future Ready Librarians - They’re Out There," said the role will continue to require those taking it on to connect students to new information, ideas, resources and people. On a literacy front, that, of course, includes continuing to expand their literary horizons and help them find topics and genres they'll enjoy the most. And it can be a critical means of building a foundation that ensures students know how to make the best use of devices — especially in the process of locating, discerning, and using information.
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