Librarians – Teaching You to Teach Yourself

30 Mar


This week, I found a very interesting post written by David Warlick on his blog that really got me thinking.  In this post, he reflected on a comment that a woman had said to him during a conversation.  She had brought up the idea that the most important teacher a high school student may have is their school librarian.  This was a very interesting thought for me when I had first read it.  Why the librarian?  How much time do they actually spend interacting with the students?  In my experience, high school students spend a lot more time with their class teachers than their librarians.


Then I kept reading, and Warlick gave me some very good insight on this topic.  He explained that the ability to learn is as necessary as literacy skills were in the past.  This is a very good point.  The ability for students to teach themselves and uncover information on their own is very important in the age where information is so easily accessible.  With information right at our fingertips, we all need to gain the ability of how to tell which information is valuable and credible for our learning.  This post brought up the idea of when education will mainly focus on teaching students to be skilled and resourceful learners.  Where students learn how to learn on their own and to utilize the information that is available to them.


This explains why librarians are so important to students.  Librarians are the ones who make it their job enable students to access information and to learn on their own.  In the past, this meant that they had taught students how to find information from books.  How to use encyclopedias and how to find books that will hold the information that they need.  Today, librarians not only teach researching in books, but they also help students to use then internet.  When I was in high school, the librarians were the ones that would come into the classroom and show us how to use data bases, or teach us how to tell if a website was reliable or not.  This is a very big job, and not only that, it is a very important job.  This is information that today’s students need to know.  In this day in age, technology is extremely important to education, and librarians have a very large role in introducing it.


This thought led to another thought.  Although librarians are great, why should they be the ones who have the largest impact on students?  If Warlick’s vision is right, shouldn’t all teachers have a role in teaching students to be skilled and resourceful learners?  Education is becoming more and more technology bound with every year.  Teachers should also be helping students to access information, because if all teachers have the impact that librarians do on students’ abilities to access and utilize information, their learning will be even more proficient.



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