Information Literacy – Pushing my own limits

Iceberg

Iceberg by Uwe Kils via Wikipedia

It has been an very exciting start of the new school year and my new job as a Library Media Specialist. Thanks to Coetail and supportive colleagues as well as understanding leadership the school created a new position for me. I’m very thankful for the chance to build the library as a fun place to be. Joyce Valenza put her vision in her Manifesto for 21st Century Teacher Librarians very well in words and I can only support this:

You understand that library is not just a place to get stuff, it is a place to make stuff, collaborate on and share stuff. Not a grocery store, but a kitchen!

During the summer vacation I put a lot of time and effort to make myself knowledgeable enough to run a library and to try to live the above written vision. I found countless great information and ideas online and I can’t express my gratitude often enough.

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In a nutshell it will be my responsibility to

  • Organize, manage, and maintain the library (together with another librarian)
  • Take a lead role in teaching and integrating information literacy incorporating the inquiry approach across the curriculum
  • Work closely and collaboratively with individual teachers to integrate technology, to design authentic learning tasks and to deliver information literacy skills

Like I said I was reading a lot the last 8 weeks which is related to my vision of a library. Reflecting about my own learning curve I realized that I was pushing my own limits in regards to information literacy. I was wondering and questioning and found a lot of resources to start from like websites of main library/reading associations in America, Canada, England, etc., like blogs from librarians, webinars librarians offered, like YouTube Videos about Information Literacy and library related topics. It felt great but at a certain point I asked myself whether my research was only the tip of the iceberg? Does Google give me more than just the tip of the iceberg? How can I did deeper? How far did I go beyond the filter bubble of the internet? And how much did I evaluate my resources? Is it a primary or a secondary resource? Who are those people who write a certain blog? Where do they get their information from? Are they writing about facts or is it their opinion? And how much am I able to evaluate the studies I found? What I mean is, as a German do I really know what reputation a certain university in US has?

I was overwhelmed at a certain point and I’m more convinced than ever before that it is important to make the students aware of those challenges by pushing their limits. We need to invest time into the research. We need to find different sources, different perspectives of information, and we always need to be critical thinkers. The students can’t be too young for information literacy like a bookseller told me here in Germany. We all have to get aware, push the limits and be a role model for others.

6 thoughts on “Information Literacy – Pushing my own limits

  1. Katy Jean Vance

    Verena,

    That is so exciting! I didn’t know that you were making the move to being a librarian! Hey, email me anytime with questions. it’s a big job, but it is so much fun. Right now I’m reading Doug Johnson’s “The Indispensable Librarian”, and it’s a good one.

    Good luck,
    Katy

    Reply
    1. Verena Zimmer Post author

      Thanks, Katy! For your offer to email you, for the book recommendation (just ordered) and for the luck. I really appreciate this. It’s an very exciting change! And it started already with a lot of fun … with Book Selfies! 😉 Students and other community members are loving it. From this week I’ll teach and I can’t wait!

      Reply
  2. Vivian

    Hi Verena!

    It sounds like you’re off to a great start! I love the idea of book selfies. It’s really interesting how the role of the librarian has changed so much due to the emergence of technology. Your school is lucky to have someone so willing to learn what it takes to do it well. Have a great year 🙂

    Vivian

    Reply
  3. Andria Visser

    Verena,
    I love your dance picture! Please let me know how you put the Twitter, Facebook etc. logo’s on your page. I want to do that too.
    Best of luck for your new adventure as a librarian. The book selfies sounds great! I think I might steal that for my Third Graders…
    Andria

    Reply

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