Monday, July 30, 2012

School Librarians as Common Core Partner

Teacher of year advocates for school librarians as Common Core Partner

With the implementation of Common Core curriculum, now more than ever, school librarians are a vital partner for the school learning community. Despite this growing need for the expertise of school librarians across our nation's schools, a growing trend in today's dismal economy is the elimination of school library media specialist positions due to budget constraints. Unfortunately, outdated stereotypes of school librarians as merely a 'keeper of books' has shaped the misconception that schools will get along just fine without them. To those who reason their school budget can't afford to keep a school librarian, consider this: How can you afford not to?

The ever changing digital age in which we live and teach requires our students to not only be proficient in using the latest technology but in being masters of transliteracy  in which students are expected to merge how they read and respond to what they get from traditional literacies with how they interact with new and emerging literacies such as digital media and Web 2.0. In an age where anyone can publish anything online with the click of a button, the 21st century learner must be able to use current technology and print resources to interpret information effectively, evaluate information sources critically and share information responsibility.  How can we expect teachers to teach these skills without access to their very best resource and Common Core partner, the school librarian? Better yet, how can we expect students who don't have access to this valuable resource to compete with students from other schools who do?

In light of this growing need for advocacy, I'd like to offer a big shout-out to Kentucky Teacher of the Year, Kimberly Shearer, who advocates for school librarians as Common Core Partner. She states in the July 2012 issue of Kentucky Teacher digital newsletter that, "school librarians have the resources, training and knowledge to help us make those meaningful connections between the Common Core Standards and our students’ interests and lives." Shearer goes on to list reasons why teachers and students need school librarians "now more than ever." Amen, sister!

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