Teachers and parents have a lot to do in teaching their children the importance or relevance of libraries in this digital age. Most children believe that their phones can solve their educational needs; not teachers, parents or even the library.
The onus then lies on the school, teachers and the parents to prove this wrong by showing that libraries are not as backward as children think and point out why the library is the surest and safest place to find information.
Kasman Valenza, a school librarian said this about school libraries:
‘We’re about encouraging and motivating young people to be readers and to be excited about literature in all its new and glorious emerging formats’
Aside what Valenza proposes, libraries are not just places to go to find hardcover books or to read.
In this day of technology, school libraries can do the following:
Guide to Accessing Information
Students can be thought to evaluate, sit through and use information from the internet. There are a lot of places to go to find information online. This is true but majority of these places have no editorials or vetting committees that sensor the information on most of these websites. Most parents do not know these but Library experts know where to go or what to do for correct information .They are information experts and can help in that regard.
Access to Digital Research Channels
According to Valenza, there are two doors to accessing information-the virtual and the physical door. Libraries in this age should be able to lead students through the physical and the virtual doors. Libraries should be equipped to reflect this. They should be able show students through virtual doors such as digital resources, e -books, databases, websites and mobile apps which have relevant edited information.
Catching up with Software companies and recommending suitable packages from them.
PewResearch concluded in a study that the world’s largest bookseller is a software company-Amazon and the world’s video service provider is also a software company, Netflix. This goes to prove that software companies or mobile apps are playing an enormous role in the revolution of the world. Libraries are not exempted. Libraries should therefore try to stay ahead of this technological curve. With the sales software companies have made, people are ready to read but are thirsty for more modern means of doing it. Libraries should be able to fill this gap.
Offer more than books and quiet reading places
The traditional library should maintain its standard of providing books, journals, and quiet reading areas. However room should be made for computers, phones and other gadgets.
Technology is indeed fighting with libraries for space but there is still room for libraries to remain relevant. Regular visitors expect them to provide the services they are known for and also respond quickly to changing trends.