I have been doing one of those necessary tasks of working in a library over the past few weeks, weeding. I have been weeding our teacher’s resource collection to make sure that it is still relevant, up to date and covering topics of interest to the teaching staff. I cannot help myself, and as I should, critically evaluating each items position in the collection. Sometimes while doing this you will find a phrase in an item that just, for whatever reason, catches your attention.
This happened to me yesterday while going through some items, all covered in dust and making my hands filthy! The quote that took my attention was
“Online communities and activities promoting literature will continue to grow with the expansion of technologies in homes and schools and the resulting increase in technological expertise.” (Pledger, 2004).
I take heart from this quote. Why? It is because this quote is from just over ten years ago and yet it is very relevant today. I take from this that we are continually striving to achieve our best for the sake of not just ourselves but more importantly those we serve. Yes serve! In both my public and school library experience I have been a firm believer in my service to others. Every time a student or staff member approaches me either in person, via email or the phone it is my duty and honour to serve them. I know that it was the serving mentality of the librarians, both public and school of my own childhood who lead me to wanting to become a librarian. I know that no matter what is going on behind the scenes one reflective comment of thanks from those I serve helps put everything in perspective.
What I also love about the quote is that it is harnessing technology and the affordances it provides to develop new ways of literature promotion. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know what I would do without access to Goodreads, LibraryThing, Spineout, Kid’s Book Review , just to name a few. Yes we would still have our excellent quality reviewing journals and publications, but let’s be honest, today we often want a review or information about a title quicker than a traditional review takes place. This won’t stop me from going to the reviewing section of my Weekend newspaper of choice first before then tackling the other wealth of sections the newspaper provides.
To me an added pleasure of this quote is that it inadvertently reminds me that it is my responsibility to keep abreast, as much as is humanly possible, with what is happening out there in the digital world. It is then for me to twist it and turn it, examine it from all angles to see what can I do with this in my setting to help staff and students, especially for literature promotion? How can I do this? I use avenues such as professional journals, discussion boards/groups, blogs such as Free Technology 4 Teachers, professional networking, talking regularly with the IT department in my school and my fellow ICT Integrators and keeping in touch with a great BBC programme called Click that looks at a range of technologies and online tools for everyday users.
I hope that if I look at this quote again in ten years’ time, just like the stars and fans of the Back to the Future 2 film have been doing this week, that I will still have the same or even more positive reflections on it. If I had seen this quote in 2004 for example would I have been thinking about the potential of book trailers as a digital promotion tool? I look forward to 2025 and what amazing tools I will be using then to connect youth, interested adults and literature together.
Pledger, P. (2004). Promoting literature through online communities . Constructing communities of learning and literacy: ASLA online conference 2004 proceedings (pp. 122-127). Zilmere: ASLA .