Sunday, May 9, 2010

Living on the Edge with Doug Johnson

I just finished Doug Johnson's new book, School Libraries Head for the Edge.  I must admit, I bought it a while ago, and it sat around for a few months.  I should have cracked it open sooner.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know Doug is a personal guru of mine.  Well, not mine personally, but.....oh, you know what I mean! I blogged about the thrill of meeting him at ISTE a couple years ago.

Anyway, I like his very down-to-earth  been there, done that, we're in it for the kids approach to libraries.  He's idealistic without being impractical, and he's willing to call out the profession when he needs to. I can respect that.

The book is a collection of his "Head for the Edge" columns for the Library Media Connection. And, as I prepare to start building a library program in Mongolia, it's really helping me think through what I'm happy about with my current program, and where I need to improve it.

He covers everything from values to technology, and is seriously re-thinking what it means to be a library media specialist in this age of increasing layoffs. As he says in the intro: "As education changes because of the information explosion, everyone's role in it will change, including yours and mine." The rest of the book explores how to make your library a meaningful, influential and integral part of the school.

This is a must-read, and ought to be on the reading list of every library school; in fact, I'm going to email a couple of my old professors at Pitt and suggest it.

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