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School Libraries Are Essential: Meeting the Virtual Access and Collaboration Needs of the 21st-Century Learner and Teacher

by Rob Darrow
Knowledge Quest ()


School librarians have excelled in providing a physical library space that is welcoming, making sure students have an inviting space to access print and digital materials, and developing collections that provide access for all ages of students. In the physical library space services such as collaborating with teachers and consulting with students usually occur with those who are on-campus, and these interactions generally occur in person. It is important to think about how to expand and change the library from a physical space to a virtual space and how to provide library services, such as collaboration and consultation, for an online school where the school librarian may never see a patron in person. The overall challenge is changing the library paradigm so that school libraries can continue to provide access and collaboration services in an increasingly virtual world. In addition to the online learning trends and changing the library paradigm, it is also important to consider the generational needs of the students in K-12 schools today. In this article, the author describes challenges regarding library access and collaboration and discusses how libraries in traditional and virtual schools respond to the challenges. (Contains 12 online resources.)

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