Trying to make a long story short, I’ll start by saying I ran into a great blog post today that describes “a school, without a full time information specialist (librarian), is a lot like me trying to plan the most efficient use of our few hours in London, without Internet.” The blogger, David Warlick, is an educator in Europe at a conference. He was talking about lack of ready cheap access to the Internet in London AND a recent occurrence in the Minnesota Legislature.
Well his blog led to a blog by Doug Johnson, that talked more about the school library/technology association’s bill “that would have given all Minnesota students access to the services of a professional library media specialist throughout the school day didn’t make it out of yesterday’s Senate Education committee yesterday [February 27, 2008].”
OK I know it’s not technically a broadband issue. And I know that as a librarian (not practicing, but still card-carrying), my view is biased but I still had to mention it because one of the byproducts of broadband technology is the exaflood of information. Think of how you get info today – blogs, web sites, email lists, email from friends, email from nasty strangers (spam), YouTube videos, online presentations, TV, text messages, radio (in the car, at home, on the computer), newspapers (online and off), RSS, the list goes on and on.
Do you think kids are any different? They aren’t. Information comes from all angles – and without training from a media specialist/librarian – how are they going to learn to separate the wheat from the chaff? Kids need to be able to filter and organize information today and you don’t pick that up by osmosis – you are taught information literacy skills. If you aren’t, you just might be moving to Nigeria where they have elected you king, all you have to do is send a check for $50,000 in advance.