I was lucky enough to attend a retreat sponsored by my state’s independent school association all about libraries, technology and education. NYSAIS’s NEIT conference is an annual event, and it brings librarians, educators and tech folks together to talk techniques, trends and issues. It is very much an un-conference and dependent on active participation from all members.
Design thinking and the remix were overarching themes, and keynote speakers brought much food for thought. But the meat of the conference happened in the open sessions. One of the sessions that I found most intriguing was called, “Technology and Library: A Match Made in….”
My own library department merged with our technology department two years ago. For the most part it has been a seamless transition, built on collaboration and communication. Our librarians work on the embedded model, and while “technology integrator” is not in our title, it is an assumed part of our job. Lines are blurry, but there are separate roles as well. For example, I order books for our Lower School, and the tech department are responsible for ordering the hardware for the Lower School. Myself and the Lower School tech teacher look over curriculum together and try to find places where we can integrate technology in ways that make sense for our students. Our merged department is a place where life long learning truly happens, and collaboration is not a bonus, but essential.
I think that tech and libraries are a natural fit. There is overlap, blending, and essentially a remix of what it means to be a school librarian. But at the end of the day, it’s the curation and helping students get the information that they need regardless of format that is essential.