It may surprise some people, but librarians have often been at the forefront of ICT use in schools. Since the early 1980s when BBC microcomputers were introduced, school librarians have integrated new and developing technologies into their work. Not only do we use ICT for our own management and administration, but we also utilise it for teaching and learning. Many school librarians are also involved in developing and managing VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments) in their schools.
The fantastic opportunities offered by ICT are many and varied. We now have the capability to keep our libraries accessible by our school community 24/7 by means of school library websites, online catalogues and the use of Web2.0 services, particularly social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and so on.
This huge range of tools opens up the possibilities of librarians reaching out to their communities and encouraging collaboration and sharing. Here are just some examples:
- Using wikis or blogs to encourage reading for pleasure, with students commenting on one another’s pages, helping their friends with reading choices.
- Using a library website to bring together a range of services using Web2.0 tools. The Michael Parker Library at the Dixie Grammar School has an extensive set of sites, branded as Library Online Services, which are brought together on the main site.
- Using Twitter to give regular news updates about the library.
- Having a Youtube channel to showcase videoed events that have taken place in the library.
- Uploading library teaching materials to the school VLE or library website for students and staff to download from home.
- Developing Netvibes site to use with subject departments with updating news from a range of sites.
- Saving evaluated web links on a social bookmarking site such as Delicious or Diigo and then linking to these from the library website or school VLE.
Colleagues – if you would like to showcase your work in this area (it could be linked from this page) please contact us!