High school librarians in the coming years aren’t going to be “ssshhh-ing” students.
Instead they are going to be encouraging students to interact with each other for collaborative learning.
That’s because libraries are evolving into 21st century resource and research centers complete with makerspaces that function as centers for peer learning and knowledge sharing where things can be created using everything from 3-D printers to tools and materials.
“It’s not just about books,” noted Anne Steiner who serves as Manteca Unified School District librarian.
Manteca Unified high school students already are moving away from the traditional way of using libraries. Instead of trying to find time to physically drop into the library to access reference material, they can use the online library resource dubbed One Drive 24/7 from the Panasonic 3E tablet devices issued to them by the school district.
One Drive — which is also used by the Stockton-San Joaquin Library System — has a complete repertoire of reference materials including publications such as the New York Times and Smithsonian Magazine to an extensive data base for online research.
Steiner noted that avoids the pitfall of using unverified sites such as Wikipedia where anyone an upload “facts.”
“It (Wikipedia) is not a scholarly site with accurate information,” Steiner said.
As such, by equipping students with the tablets and then make One Drive accessible from them educators and libraries are able to direct students to research sites that past education muster effectively solving the issue of trying to find trustworthy sites while surfing the Internet
The data base is fairly deep. Steiner demonstrated to Manteca Rotarians gathered Thursday at Ernie’s Rendezvous Room how many sources a student researching cigarettes and smoking through One Drive could access. When it came to newspaper articles alone, there were 9,306 sources.
When high school students download e-books from the district library, the software on their devices allows them to essentially make notes on the book and then download them to the device and re-arrange them for future reference.
Their tablets also allow them to adjust type size and font — something they can’t do with a textbook. While that isn’t exactly breaking new ground, what is are new font types such as one designed specifically to help students with dyslexia be able to read easier. The type face — that to most people looks a little blurred and hard to read — is perfectly clear to someone with dyslexia.
Students are limited to four e-book titles that they can check out at one time.
Steiner noted that e-books are also a lot more nimble to secure Traditionally it would take weeks to get books after an order is placed. Now an order can be placed and the book pops ups the same day in her email account.
Steiner is currently working with high school teachers to determine what the libraries will look like and how they will function in the coming years.
“There will always be books,” she noted.
The Manteca Unified board will be asked in the coming budget to restores librarians to the district’s five comprehensive highs schools starting in the 2015-16 school year. The positions were cut seven years ago as the district scrambled to match costs with falling revenue.