The Role of the School Library
The school library program can help build and transform students’ knowledge in order to support lifelong learning in our information- and knowledge-based society. The school library program supports student success across the curriculum by encouraging students to read widely, teaching them to examine and read many forms of text for understanding and enjoyment, and helping them improve their research skills and effectively use information gathered through research.
The school library program enables students to:
- develop a love of reading for learning and for pleasure;
- develop literacy skills using fiction and non-fiction materials;
- develop the skills to become independent, thoughtful, and critical researchers;
- obtain access to programs, resources, and integrated technologies that support all curriculum areas;
- understand and value the role of public library systems as a resource for lifelong learning.
The school library program plays a key role in the development of information literacy and research skills. Teacher-librarians, where available, collaborate with classroom or content-area teachers to design, teach, and provide students with authentic information and research tasks that foster learning, including the ability to:
- access, select, gather, process, critically evaluate, create, and communicate information;
- use the information obtained to explore and investigate issues, solve problems, make decisions, build knowledge, create personal meaning, and enrich their lives;
- communicate their findings to different audiences, using a variety of formats and technologies;
- use information and research with understanding, responsibility, and imagination.
In addition, teacher-librarians can work with content-area teachers to help students:
- develop digital literacy in using non-print forms, such as the Internet, social media, and blogs, and knowing the best ways to access relevant and reliable information;
- design inquiry questions for research projects;
- create and produce single-medium or multimedia presentations.
Teachers need to discuss with students the concept of ownership of work and the importance of copyright in all forms of media.