David Lee King has written another thought-provoking and insightful post about changes in our culture and society that he feels will impact the way we do “business” as libraries.    In the first part of his article, King outlines changes in our economy and society that reflect a fundamental shift.   He points out that the majority of materials we house in libraries are undergoing a significant transformation or going away altogether (print magazines and newspapers, the rise of digital books and readers, the advent of subscription services for music and videos).  He poses this question to his fellow librarians:

How are you starting to re-think your services and libraries?

While this post is geared toward a public library audience, I can’t help but wonder how we as school librarians might answer this question?  Are we paying attention to the change that is happening right now?  Are we thinking about how these changes will impact the way school libraries function in the short and long term future?  Are we thinking about how our school libraries will need to adapt as these profound changes occur?  Should we have already been thinking about these things?    How does this affect you as an elementary, middle/junior high, or high school teacher-librarian?

Are we open to change and the possibilities it brings?  I have a poster in my office that looks something like this:


Are we willing to surrender what we are for what we could become?  Are school libraries on the cusp of a sea-change?  For me, the question is not “if” we will adapt, but “how” will we adapt?  How can we use this opportunity to tap into these changes to position information literacy as a mainstream literacy that is taught by all educators, not just the school library media specialist?

These questions weigh heavy on my mind tonight.  Please take some time to read King’s post and share your thoughts.   Shift has happened, continues to happen, and will keep happening—will we stand still, or will we shift too?

3 thoughts on “People Get Ready

  1. Sounds great–can’t wait to look into it.

    Congratulations on the huge and amazing post on Joyce Valenza’s blog! What an incredible endorsement. And it’s great to see you’re still questioning and thinking about your practice.

    My wife also did graduate work at UGA and one day they had to boil down their philosophy to just one word and put it somewhere as a touchstone to remind them. She had found this perfectly smooth oval stone once when we’d been walking and wrote her word o it: “Question”

    Now that I’m working on my SLSMS degree she’s given it to me to keep on m desk.

    Thanks for always questioning.


  2. Hi! Thanks so much for your kind words!

    I took several classes with Dr. Bob Fecho at UGA (you would love him), and the essential question was, “Why are you doing this?”. I appreciate to this day the sense of questioning he instilled in me! I love that your wife chose “Question” as the one word to represent her philosophy—very cool.

    I appreciate how you approach everything through a critical lens. I am glad to know people like you who are open to change and who question are joining the profession!

    Thank you again for taking time to read my post and for your encouragement!

    Very best,


  3. “Are we paying attention to the change that is happening right now?”

    I’m amazed…read this post as I came through to link to my newest post…am so blown-away by the Unquiet Library blog, this blog, your incredible energy, your great tweets, etc…

    And “paying attention”: it’s the question that’s on all of our minds, isn’t it? Or should be.

    Wonderful work you’re doing. Wonderful.


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