Traci Chun, a teacher-librarian at Skyview High School in Vancouver, Washington, is all done with shushing. “When my library is quiet, that’s a red flag,” said Chun. In fact, the busier it is, the better—whether it’s kids experimenting with the Makey Makey circuitry or uploading designs to a 3-D printer, or a class learning media literacy, or a student seeking advice on a video she’s editing at one of the computer workstations.
Chun’s district is at the forefront of a national movement to turn K–12 librarians into indispensable digital mavens who can help classroom teachers craft tech-savvy lesson plans, teach kids to think critically about online research, and remake libraries into lively, high-tech hubs of collaborative learning—while still helping kids get books.
The stereotypical library can seem like a vestige, making it an easy target when budgets are tight, according to Mark Ray, Vancouver’s director of innovation and library services, “but we want libraries to be the lynchpin of education transformation.” Ray heads up Future Ready Librarians, part of Future Ready Schools—a network for sharing education technology solutions, which is sponsored by the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, D.C.–based education advocacy group.
Image courtesy of Slate.