Wednesday, January 25, 2006

School Media Centers

In all regions, Europe, U.S., Asia and Africa, there are similarities between successful media centers. Malaysia and Tanzania were interesting exceptions because their independence had a serious positive affect on the flourishing of their school libraries. The role of the librarian was documented in this article. Some as teacher/librarian with more emphasis on teaching and less attention to keeping the libraries hours or developing a school library. In Beijing (pg. 567), "many schools had up to five librarians or teachers interested in promoting the library". So here the librarian promotes the library. In the West, many school libraries were very dependent on public libraries either being started/supported by public libraries. ex. pg 565 the public library and school libraries developed a cooperative agreement in 1987. Most school libraries were governed first by local authorities like town councils, and then school boards, and then legislation and national boards like the National Board of Education.

Question: What elements make a successful school library center?


Hannah Gray said...

While I really cannot claim to be an expert on how libraries are run or how they should be run, I feel that the article really emphasizes the importance of trained personnel as being essential to a successful school library system. Lowrie criticizes laws written that stated it was "'permissible not to hire a qualified school librarian'" (567). Lowrie also appears to agree with a handbook guideline stating that "'a good school library can raise the school's level of performance, enhance children's behaviour, and increase reading interests and social interaction'" (565). While I'm not sure a school library does all these things simultaneously, I agree that one's exposure to writing can certainly affect one enormously, and that a library is a great way to access writings. A successful school library center needs not only the input of trained staff, but also an environment in which students feel welcome and comfortable furthering their knowledge through writings other than textbooks.

Kelly said...

I can't help but feel that there may be something more important than having a good librarian or even a good collection, and that's LETTING THE KIDS USE THE LIBRARIES! To my recollection we were hardly ever allowed to go to the school library in middle and high school. A school library that the students don't get to use can never be successful.

During my one year at Madison's Memorial High School I think I was only allowed in the library a handful times. Most of those were just into the little fiction room to get a book to read for an English book report, and once or twice I actually got to go into the main part of the library to research a report on WWII. That was it. I hope things are different now, because it sure seemed like a waste to have all those books sitting on the shelf with no one coming in to look at them.