Saturday, April 19, 2008

Info Lit a subject?

I posted this into the AASL listserv today. What do you think?

It seems to me that it is vitally important ... that information literacy be recognized and promoted as a core subject and furthermore promoted as the particular subject that certified school librarians are highly qualified to teach. Right now, very few people understand that librarians are primary teachers because there is no readily identifiable subject associated with them. If the public really understood that information literacy is a core 21st century subject on which proper understanding of other core subjects depends, and that librarians are the only ones highly qualified to teach it, it would put librarians on parity with classroom teachers in a fundamental way that cuts off at the knees arguments that librarians are ancillary.

No one who understands the importance of information literacy would accept the argument that library aids and paraprofessionals are qualified to teach a core subject. Given that many states actually have academic standards relating to information literacy, this should be obvious, but I rarely see this case being publicly made. It places far more emphasis on the librarian than it does the library, and I think this would be a good thing for school librarians.

Those who know me know that I’m no fan of NCLB, but perhaps at least some effort should be directed at amending the next version of ESEA to reflect information literacy among the other core subjects explicitly recognized. A strong, united front that included other organizations such as ISTE and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills could help move it along.

No comments: