Like most things, books have gone high tech. A lot of kids today read books on handheld devices rather than on paper. This can leave some school libraries underutilized. In addition, students now do most of their research online and don’t go to the library for reference materials. However, many school libraries are changing with the times. They are still places where students can gather to learn information and skills that support their classwork. Here is some information about school librarians are doing to make their programs relevant to students growing up in the digital age.
Makerspaces contain the tools and resources to experiment and build new things. Library makerspaces can include things like traditional tools and wood so that students can learn to build structures. They also usually include high-tech equipment like circuit boards and wiring so that students can experiment in building robots and other moving objects. In addition to building things, students in makerspaces learn coding and experiment with learning computer languages to get their objects to react to digital commands.
Classroom projects are getting more high-tech and often schools can’t afford to put a lot of specialized equipment in each classroom. The library is a great place to become a collaborative tech space. It can include laptops, cameras, open seating, lighting, TVs and smart boards. Students can use the library tech space to complete projects or to learn new skills of interest. Librarians might teach new programs so students can learn animation or video editing.
The library can still be the go-to place for research, even if students aren’t dusting off the encyclopedia sets. Instead, librarians can teach students how to access and use digital resources and materials like databases and journals. Librarians also teach students digital literacy skills like analyzing where information comes from and how best to communicate online. They can work together with the school counselor and teach cyber safety and anti-bullying curriculum as well.
How has your school library stayed relevant for today’s students? We’d love to hear about the changes in the comments below.