So what does a 21st Century librarian do for a school? The new role of the librarian is much more than just ordering and checking in and out books. The new librarian is a “project facilitator” in a digital world. This person is responsible for helping students and teachers connect to the outside world with comprehensive projects, activities and technological media. This type of library is needed not only in a blended learning school but online as well. As one colleague put it, “Well don’t the students just use Google?” Librarians need to be trained and schools need to adjust to this new role. One of the most effective library teams is George and Carolyn Breaz at the Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have rebuilt the whole concept of a library and librarian. It did not come easy but is now an accepted part of the culture of this Blue Ribbon School. They have created the ultimate digital library, where students and teachers not only have access to the outside world but are trained on how to do projects/activities, help the teachers facilitate the projects so that the teachers can teach and not worry about the technology they need to do their projects. Do you need this type of person and help in your library? I would think so! Do we really need librarians? Yes, if they are as capable as the Breaz’s are in their school.
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