Library Girl: 5 conversations I don’t want to have any more

One of the school library-related blogs I read regularly is The Adventures of Library Girl (written by @jenniferlagarde). Her latest entry is a post entitled “5 conversations (about libraries) I don’t want to have any more”. Jump over and read it now.

I found myself nodding in agreement with every one of the points she makes, viz:

  1. Copyright. I am tired of feeling like I am the embodiment of the copyright police at my school. Now, I’m by no means an expert in the field of copyright, but I have an uncomfortable feeling about some of the  images and music and so on that I see being used in digital content created at school and republished to the web. What to do about it? Taking a positive approach to this isn’t always easy. Finding ‘stuff’ that’s free to use isn’t as simple (for young kids, especially) as doing a quick Google search, so although there are plenty of alternative places to look, making sure people know what to do takes time and requires some effort on everyone’s part. All of which can be in short supply, in my experience.
  2. 21st Century skills. Don’t get me started. Next thing you know I’ll be using “paradigm” in a sentence 😉
  3. The Digital Divide. Yes, it does worry me. Even in a decile 9 school such as mine, there’s a wide range of access to technology – and the skills to use it –  both inside and outside of school. Not every family is the same; not every classroom is the same – (why) should they be? What are we doing to raise both access and skills to a reasonable level for everyone?
  4. eBooks vs pBooks. I don’t care that the Horizon Report says “1 year to adoption” for eBooks. See 3 above. The simple fact is that both will have to co-exist in my school library for the next while – we’re talking years – while problems relating to access, and availability of quality eBook content catches up with what’s possible for my library using print books.
  5. Social media. My own primary school-age children are online more and more, and there’s just no avoiding social media. They blog at school. They play Club Penguin at home. My 11 year old asked me a few days ago if she could join Twitter, and I had a very interesting chat with some of her classmates this week about being yourself online – would you tell lies online? would you tell lies in real life? They need to talk about this kind of thing, not just at home, but at school too. Give them access to social media at school, and be there to help them learn how to use it responsibly.
What are your thoughts about these? How do you address these problems proactively in your school library? And are there other conversations you’re sick of having? What makes you want to throw up your hands and say “Could we just move on already!!?!”
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