One of my last assignments for the semester was to create a “manifesto” for school librarians based on Joyce Valenza’s 2010 blog posts “Manifesto for the 21st Century School Librarians”. This ended up being the perfect way to end the semester: a summation of what I’ve learned and what I hope to be. I wrote mine as a series of “I wills”, a useful technique utilized by my school’s character building curriculum.
A Librarian Manifesto
(based on the writings of Joyce Valenza, 2010)
- Reading: I will encourage and facilitate reading by providing diverse reading material in a variety of formats, promoting books in a multitude of ways, in person and online, and providing ways for students to communicate, review, and reflect about what they are reading.
- Information Landscape: I will serve as an information specialist for the teachers and students in my school, providing access and support for web tools, databases, software, and apps, and teaching how to use digital communication tools creatively and responsibly.
- Collection Department: I will continuously strive to improve the library’s collection of materials, including multiple book formats, digital materials, and more, and will actively work to use the library’s space creatively to promote sharing, creating, and collaborating.
- Access, Equity, Advocacy: I will promote and fight for equitable access to information technology and will ensure that all students have access to the digital resources they need.
- Audience and Collaboration: I will promote sharing and collaboration within the school and beyond and will guide students to use technology as an means for sharing knowledge and communicating ideas with others beyond the walls of the school.
- Copyright, Copyleft, and Information Ethics: I will model, monitor, and teach digital citizenship and will promote Copyright and Fair Use guidelines and Creative Commons licensing.
- New Technology Tools: I will acknowledge the educational capabilities and benefits of smartphones, tablets, and other personal technology devices and will help students utilize their personal technology to enhance and advance their education.
- Professional Development and Professionalism: I will develop a professional learning network that includes local groups and committees as well as social networking sites, blogs, and webcasts and will continuously seek out avenues to learn and collaborate with other professionals.
- Teaching and Learning and Reference: I will continuously look for ways to engage and support my students and teachers, utilizing new services and technology to improve and expand their learning potential.
- Into the Future (acknowledging the best of the past): I will uphold and encourage the best of what the traditional library has had to offer while also looking to the future and planning for change, serving as a leader, a planner, a teacher, and a learner.