It was in the fall of 2000 that the North Carolina School Library Media Association became a reality! Born out of the desire "to provide professional and educational connections, opportunities, and support for North Carolina school library media personnel", the organization has provided an annual statewide conference and various programs and grants to meet the stated purpose of the association.
Our first conference in the fall of 2001 saw some incredible speakers and authors: Christopher Paul Curtis, Stephen Krashen, Suzanne Fisher Staples, and others. We were energized and enthusiastic about our new association and extremely excited about our first conference. School library media specialists enjoyed strong, well-funded programs and were afforded the professional luxury of attending our conference to network and learn with colleagues.
What has happened in school librarianship in the past ten years since the beginning of our new organization?
Technology obviously is very prominent in our daily lives and especially our schools and libraries. Who could have imagined students using wireless laptops to navigate online databases for a research project? Or students collaboratively planning projects and preparing presentations through wikis and blogs and other collaborative applications?
For years, futurists have talked about the books going away. The invention and increased usage of eBooks and devices like the Kindle have made some books more accessible, but they haven't necessarily completely displaced the books on our shelves in our school libraries.
In the past ten years, we've seen school library media specialists move more into the role of teacher leaders. We've become National Board Certified Teachers. We've embraced our role as professional development facilitators. We've worked to be more comfortable at advocating for information literacy and our media and technology programs.
As we look to our conference in the fall of 2010, what do the next ten years have in store for library media coordinators and our media and technology programs?
What's your 2020 vision for the future of school libraries?
Deanna Harris, NBCT