More than 90 per cent of teacher-librarians in Australia are believed to be over 40, compared to half of teachers generally. Many teacher-librarians also retire early because of a lack of promotional opportunities reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Meanwhile, there are just four tertiary courses nationally to train them, from a peak of 15, and only about 100 graduates a year.
"My town officials think all we're running here is a babysitting service" a librarian recently shared in a moment of frustration. She went on to mention studies about the proven impact on cognitive abilities when toddlers are actively engaged in library programs like Lapsit versus passively engaged with toys & videos.
This was news to me; my how the educational product companies and toy manufacturers had shaped my understanding! I also hadn't thought of toddler programs as educational initiatives. When I've seen adults and toddlers together at the library, I've usually thought "oh, aren't those kids adorable" and "I'm glad people are getting together to have fun". Though it now seems obvious, the educational and literacy component of Lapsit was lost on me.
This last point was intriguing, so I did some quick research. I googled "Lapsit" and got plenty of results from library websites around the country. I clicked through to the top 20 (all different libraries, by chance) and searched for the terms literacy and education in the page content, in images or as part of the navigation.
- 80% made no mention of literacy or education in conjunction with Lapsit
- 20% contained the term literacy
- 10% contained the terms literacy and education
Clearly these stats don't tell the whole story, but they tell a good one about the help libraries need presenting information to the public.
Academic libraries are different than public libraries when it comes to the patrons they serve, but one thing that is the same--disasters and crime. On any given day librarians and staff must be prepared to deal with episodes of theft, inappropriate behavior from patrons in the library, natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes on the east coast and even earthquakes, all of which can do untold damage to collections and the lives of those who work in libraries.
After taking the word "library" out of its name last spring, filibustering an Alumni Association meeting that was supposed to pass a resolution against this change, and various other nasties, Rutgers SCILS (now "SCI") has been hitting up its library school alumni for money! Of all the nerve...
No particular link (it was an email), but here's the original debate:
The Gates Foundation will help the University of Illinois train librarians from around the world. The two-year $484,000 contract with the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will support a training program for public librarians in other countries.
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If your library has "tell me when..." options for users to receive email alerts when new items are added to the catalog, you may be interested in this instructional material- it's easy to add favorites in iBistro, but figuring out how to remove them is far less obvious....
See the instructional videos at the Delaware Library Catalog blog here