Have you ever seen the movie The Pagemaster? It is about a boy who has an incredible adventure in the library. The librarian is the magical pagemaster. I love the message in this movie about books and reading. I have always felt that the library was a special, even magical place. I feel a sense of reverence and peace when I step in the library, and I am transported back to other times and places. When I gaze at the books, I feel that they hold such promise-if only there was enough time to read them all.
It grieves me to think that many kids today do not feel like the library is a special place. They want more than books to stimulate their minds and motivate them. They need for the library to extend beyond the published ideas, to those of evolving ideas. The library must expand beyond its walls into the web--that intricate world of connections-- in order to stay relevant to kids today.
One of the articles says that we must equip students with wings instead of wheels; instead of leading students down a path, we must help them fly. " . . . teachers should be teaching from the air." The library becomes the landmarks, borders, anchors, and access to pilot logs. The librarians help the students navigate through the information. I agree that we must evolve with the times; we need to change our ways of thinking in order to best meet the needs of all learners. We must remember; however, that making information more easily accessible, does not mean that we need librarians less. The librarian is more important than ever; the librarian is still the page master, whatever type of page one may be reading.
One of the articles describes Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 in the following ways: Web 1.0 respects authority--the kind with credentials; Web 2.0 respects the community--everyone has a voice. There are authoritative sources that are valuable and cannot be replaced with anyone's opinions. Even though we may make room for more voices, they should not drown out the credible voices that already resound in the library. While I agree that the library and the classroom need to evolve, I feel concerned that society will de-value the great things that the library has always offered. Let us expand, but let us not expunge the valuable assests already available. Keep the books, keep the books; add to them, but keep the books.
In The Pagemaster, the boy's library card gives him the power (and privilege) of taking books home with him. The books all vy for his attention and try to win him over, so they will get taken home. In the end, he chooses . . . Well, you watch the movie; you will be glad you did. Taking books home for me is still the treat at the end of the day. If I want information for a research project, I can get on the computer, but for pure pleasure, I want to take home books. Where is my library card?
P.S. I am not a librarian, but librarians are my favorite people. :) Thank you wonderful librarians for all you do in this evolving world of Web 2.0.