School Libraries Worldwide
January 2010, Volume 16, Number 1, 17-28
____________________________________________ Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21st Century Carol Collier Kuhlthau
School of Communication and Information, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, USA
Global interconnectedness enabled by information technology calls for new skills, knowledge and ways of learning to prepare students for living and working in the 21 st century. Guided Inquiry equips students with abilities and competencies to address the challenges of an uncertain, changing world. School librarians are vital partners in creating schools that enable students to learn through vast resources and multiple communication channels. School libraries are dynamic learning centers in information age schools with school librarians as primary agents for designing schools for 21st century learners.
Call for 21st Century Skills
The 21st century calls for new skills, knowledge and ways of learning to prepare students with abilities and competencies to address the challenges of an uncertain, changing world. Some think that an Internet connection in the classroom is all that is needed to transform a 20 th century school into a 21st century learning space. If only it were that simple. Some have assumed that the Internet makes school libraries obsolete. Research shows that this is definitely not the case. A new way of learning is needed that prepares students for living and working in a complex information environment. Our research shows that school libraries are an essential component of information age schools. School librarians are vital partners in creating schools that enable students to learn through vast resources and multiple communication channels. Teachers cannot do this alone. School librarians are primary agents in schools for 21st century learners. School libraries are dynamic learning centers in information age schools.
Information Technology – The Easy Part and the Hard Part
Consider some of the attributes of emerging information and communication technologies that change the way we live. Internet connection provides direct access to vast information resources. Mobile devices provide instantaneous communication any time and any place. Multifunctional hand-held devices are ubiquitous around the world from cosmopolitan urban centers to remote rural outposts. Web 2.0 tools help us interact, connect and collaborate in new ways. Technological tools that have become part of our everyday life have great benefit for people across the world. However, there are potential dangers as well. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Copyright of works published in School Libraries Worldwide is jointly held by the author(s) and by the International Association of School Librarianship. The author(s) retain copyright of their works, but give permission to the International Association of School Librarianship to reprint their works in collections or other such documents published by or on behalf of the International Association of School Librarianship. Author(s) who give permission for their works to be reprinted elsewhere should inform the Editor of School Libraries Worldwide and should ensure that the following appears with the article: Reprinted, with permission, from School Libraries Worldwide, Volume 16, Number 1, January 2009, pages 17-28.
Carol Collier Kuhlthau
Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21 Century
There is an upside and a downside to these fantastic devices. For instance, information technology is instantaneous and mobile providing equality of voice, access and communication in real time. Everyone has a voice but this also produces an abundance of misinformation and misunderstandings, intended or not. Questions arise of what is accurate, reliable, important and wise. There is confusion between what is enduring and what is ephemeral in...
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School Libraries Worldwide
January 2010, Volume 16, Number 1, 17-28
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