I’m not sure if everyone feels the need, at some point, to justify their career. Not their career choice, but their career. Not – “Why on Earth did you want to be a DOCTOR?!” but more “Why on Earth do we even HAVE doctors?!” or “Hospitals are obsolete, everyone can just use WebMD and their 24-hour CVS.” Yeah, you don’t really hear much of that, but what I DO hear is “libraries are obsolete,” and once during an instruction session I was conducting and from the instructor that had requested the session – AND in front of a room full of his/her students. Gee, thanks. Just wait until the day I pop into the back of your classroom and tell your students that literary criticism is USELESS in real life.*
I have read so many of these – “Why librarians are important” pieces – and it makes me frustrated that there are people that think we aren’t. I matter, darn it!
Here’s one from the L.A. Times written by a school librarian whose job has been eliminated.
Go ahead. Read it, then we can discuss in the comments.
*This is not really what I think, it's just a fitting parallel. Plus, I would never do this. We educators need to support each other. Woo nerd solidarity!
Saving the Google students: For the Google generation, closing school libraries could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to sift through sources is like sending them into the world without knowing how to read.
Opinion | March 21, 2010 | By Sara Scribner
(excerpt below – full article available here)
The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders — those born between 1991 and 2004 — has no memory of a time before Google. But although these students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the Internet, they know a lot less than they think. And worse, they don’t know what they don’t know.
As a librarian in the Pasadena Unified School District, I teach students research skills. But I’ve just been pink-slipped, along with five other middle school and high school librarians, and only a parcel tax on the city’s May ballot can save the district’s libraries. Closing libraries is always a bad idea, but for the Google generation, it could be disastrous. In a time when information literacy is increasingly crucial to life and work, not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read.