The Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL) at Rutgers University holds the belief, substantiated by five decades of research, that school libraries help young people learn. School libraries are learning laboratories where information, technology, and inquiry come together in a dynamic that resonates with 21st century learners. School libraries are the school’s physical and virtual learning commons where inquiry, thinking, imagination, discovery, and creativity are central to students’ information-to-knowledge journey, and to their personal, social and cultural growth.
School librarians understand that children of the Millennium generation are consumers and creators in multi-media digital spaces where they download music, games, and movies, create websites, avatars, surveys and videos, and engage in social networking (National School Boards Association, 2007). They know that the world of this young generation is situated at the crossroads of information and communication. School librarians bring pedagogical order and harmony to a multi-media clutter of information by crafting challenging learning opportunities, in collaboration with classroom teachers and other learning specialists, to help learners use the virtual world, as well as traditional information sources, to prepare for living, working, and life-long learning in the 21st century.
Schools without libraries minimize the opportunities for students to become discriminating users in a diverse information landscape and to develop the intellectual scaffolds for learning deeply through information. Schools without libraries are at risk of becoming irrelevant.
Complete Position Paper