School libraries continue evolving to meet students' needs
- Supervisors of media services for Hillsborough County Public Schools, the eighth-largest school district in the nation, say school librarians and media specialists need to make sure that every student has “equitable access to high-quality reading, learning and technological resources,” eSchool News reports.
- These media specialists suggest that the best practices for school libraries include becoming leaders in literacy innovation and being willing to take risks so that students become more engaged with reading and learning.
- They also predict that school libraries will continue to evolve in terms of physical space as they become more interactive and will focus more on providing personalized learning resources and offering greater diversity in literature choices.
As the role of school librarians continues to shift to the far broader responsibilities of “media specialists,” the school library plays a larger role in the education of students. Rather than being just a quiet retreat for studying or a center for reading and research resources, school libraries are playing a greater role in personalized learning, computer education, and hands-on exploration through the inclusion of makerspaces.
School administrators need to carefully consider these factors when hiring media specialists and when looking at ways to make the media center a more effective part of the educational process. They also need to consider the future trends in school libraries as many are becoming a learning commons that focus more on student engagement and collaboration. These changes, which reflect the impact of the digital age, can often be made inexpensively through the reallocation of current space and fund-raising efforts to support new flexible furniture options and resources.
- eSchool News A year in the life of a student-centered library