Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Here is a link to my last article I wrote.  I have argued two main points: the first is that the librarian has to try to see a bigger picture rather than being closed to the four walls of the institution s/he works for; second, the lbrarian has to have a outward positive looking attitude.

This is in view of our patrons in general.  We never send patrons away with nothing in their hand or some kind of information through which, they will be able to jump-start the journey.  This is precisely why we cannot send patrons away empty-handed.

Librarians are needed more than ever in a world becoming evermore inforamtion based.  Several skills are at play which, undoubtedly include IT & ICT skills.  An information literate person has - as part-and-parcel- IT & ICT skills.  Consequently, part of our training is envisaged to be regarding these new gadgets and the appropriate skills attached to them.

So, I leave it up to you to contribute to this blog after reading the article.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Current Literacy Trends

This month (Oct 2012), Ofcom have published an interesting research document titled "Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report."  This is important in view of the information paradigm for librarians since, literacy & the effect of the media is of direct interest to us.

Some information which might interest us in this report is the following data:
 (i) an increase since 2010 in the number of children aged between 5-15 who have a PC or a laptop;

(ii) an increase from 93% from 88% of children aged between 12-15 year olds use the Internet from home; and

(iii) children say that they would likely to miss their mobile or the Internet rather than TV;

(iv) 33% believe that the information on a website must be truthful;

(v) only 23% of parents are concerned with what their kids see on the Internet;

(vi) 49% of parents state that their children know more than them;

(vii) 88% of the kids feel confident and know how to stay safe on the Internet;

Maybe at face-value, one might not identify any awkward things in this data.  However, my personal concern is the following: Who is teaching/educating our kids to navigate through the information paradigm?  Additionally, why do some assume that parents have the necessary 'know how' of how to navigate online?

A few thoughts...
The fact that there is an increase in people accessing more online content is a sign of concern since this is the current 'information society' within which we are working.  Additionally, that 33% of our students believe that the information on the websites is 'truthful' in their information provision needs to be addressed.  This calls for a rather fast response from us librarians to address this issue.

Another issue is the obvious assumption that parents have the necessary know-how in the digital arena and therefore, able to help their children effectively in doing their homework.  Generally speaking this is not so as much as the other myth that, the Generation Y are knowledgeable when they are online.  Being an IT literate person does not make you an Information Literate person.

Consequently, I strongly believe that, as much as the teacher has his/her place at school (teaching his/her subject), even the librarian has his/her place at school (teaching information literacy).  It is the librarian's job to redress/address/guide students in the information paradigm because it his his area of specialization.

When we debate librarian issues including school librarians and their contribution to education we still need to discover the benefits which both teacher and student will garner. 

Another related research which might be of interest to us and that will be published by the end of November 2012 by PewInternet is about Teens and their online behaviour.

Ofcom: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/media-literacy/oct2011/Children_and_parents.pdf) 

Monday, January 23, 2012

School Librarians Leadership

Why Librarians are needed?

Without doubt, librarians have been around for centuries. Different eras, differnet centuries bring along with them differenrt information. Consequently, there is need for different skills if one desires to acquire information.

In the 21st Century, dominated by both technology and the proliferation of information in an unprecedented manner, the main issue is of being "an information literate person".
The issue is not one of access. This does not mean that one need not learn digital skills. However, the real challenge lies in the type of information which exists. Not all information is correct and not all that is found online is acceptable or good enough to be used and shared.

Librarians are the persons who are trained in information handling, ethics, and a variety of other skills, such as digital, among others. They are the ones who guide students, teachers & parents into the information paradigm in order to identify, select, evaluate, use effectively and ethically and finally present information in an appropriate way.

Therefore, librarians are not just librarians. They have different roles to play. They support teachers in their subject, assist students in their information quest and help parents where lack of skills are present.

Librarians need to show leadership among other things in their role as educators.

I invite you to take a look at this clip.

(This clip was posted on fb by Judy O'Connell - thank you Judy)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Digital Words

I also would like to contribute to the emerging discussion regarding 'the future of reading'.
Without doubt, this phenomenon will grow and will also start leaving its effect on society at large but particularly, we will start seeing the effect on our current teens - even the Gen Y.

This trend is fueled by the sophisticated technology which is being developed together with their possibilities and the 'always on' concept brought about. I will venture to add that the other concept which I would marry to this latter is, the 'always present'!

eReaders, tablets and mobile phones in their turn, has kept most of us sleepless and active all day long. The famous Ranghanathan said 'every book it's reader, and every reader it's book'. This can be equated to or linked to 'every user his tech and every tech it's user'.

Each user needs to identify own needs and decide which piece of technology will satisfy that particular need.

However, on the educational level, I believe that this trend will challenge the traditional 'textbook', since, the more our kids will be handling their 'tech', the more will they want to use it. To this end, we educators need to catch up the wave and use it to their advantage.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Web 3.0 on the way!

Dear Reader,

If you are reading this Blog, then, you must be acquainted with Web 2.0...its benefits, tools, speed, collaboration, ect.
Yet, we are moving into Web 3.0 now! Internet is a fascinating Tool indeed, yet, it needs to be accessed with cautiousness and responsibly.

Here is the Link
to a glimpse of the coming Web 3.0. It works on the principle of "Mashups". Though Mashups have been around for some time, this video provides a concrete way on how Mashups can be used effectively. It is all in real-time and therefore, up-to-date information is possible - more up-to-date than Web 2.0., in the sense that it is happening 'actually'.

The Link provided shows that the video was taken in 2010.