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An sln member drew attention to an article in the Summer edition of Independent School magazine called The new school library. The main gist of the article is that the internet is changing the nature of school libraries. It’s a point of view that I respectfully disagree with; to me, the last twenty years of my life as a school librarian has always been about creating

a mixed-use space for research, study, collaboration, global connection, and more

although modern technology has certainly made the attempt a lot easier 🙂

But that’s nit-picking. I think the article provides an excellent overview of the role of a school library in the 21st century and the choices its staff have to make.

At the end of the article was a section entitled

Technology and the Library:  What’s Hot, and What’s Not?

which listed twelve criteria for how a school library should be organised in the present, including technology, collaboration, equipment, information literacy and attitudes of librarian, teaching staff and management.

So how hot is my library using these criteria? (Lisa Simpson needing graded – that’s me). Well, I make it sunny with scattered showers. Some issues are not under the school’s control (staffing and network technology are decided at council level) and while most of the other criteria are in place, they would benefit from expansion.

Their list makes an interesting comparison with the infographic created by Robert Gordon University / SLIC regarding the impact of school libraries on learning.

Impact of School Libraries (SLIC, 2013)

Impact of School Libraries (SLIC, 2013)

The list from Independent School magazine is a fairly decent recipe for the perfect school library, but it’s interesting that it assumes a professionally qualified, well experienced, knowledgeable specialist librarian, (mentioned throughout the article).

It’s difficult to create the perfect recipe without a chef.