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Librarians Online!


With so much of the world's information online, today's librarian has been transformed into a media specialist with a specialty in online information access -- a cyber-librarian or "cybrarian"! Included: The best resources to aid cybrarians in their quest to make information accessible to all!

BOOKWEEK November 15-21 Five hundred years ago, the Guttenberg Bible was the first step in a revolution. The printed word finally could be distributed in mass quantities to the general populace. Literacy became widespread. Books catapulted humans into the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution.

Today, we stand on the launchpad of a new revolution -- the Digital Age. Information is still vital, but it no longer requires distribution in hard-copy format to reach the masses.

For educators, the challenge of promoting literacy is now complicated by the need for digital literacy. The cybrarian is in a unique position to facilitate that important goal -- and this Education World story offers an overview of some great Internet resources that cybrarians can draw on to reach it.

After you've read this article, if you're looking for more resources, check out the teaching resource page Innovative Teaching Language Arts Resources.


Let's start with Dale Cropp's All Together Now. This fabulous cybrarian's aid offers online subject catalogs and an endless assortment of resources to assist educators. Features such as the reading lists and a librarians-only section are truly essential stops for cybrarians on the education superhighway!

Another excellent resource is The Awesome Library, a fast-loading page offering 14,000 educationally viable Web pages, all screened using stringent criteria. The array of clickable categories includes specific subject/content areas, resources for school assignments, reference sources, and special pages for parents, students, teachers, and librarians. And if you know exactly what you are looking for, a simple search query can deliver the most highly recommended resources on the site. Don't forget to visit the bookstore while you are visiting!

Margaret Vail Anderson's Digital Librarian is an impressive work. Anderson draws on her extensive library experience to offer some 90 categories of Internet sites, all listed because of their high-quality content for teachers and learners. Are you already familiar with her excellent offerings? Simply click on New Listings to see what was recently added to her collection!


Librarians often seek out one another and swap ideas and titles. Hence, the value of a site such as The Internet Library for Librarians from Infoworks. Check out the exhaustive categories this site has put together to accommodate the needs of librarians: references and resources galore, comprehensive links on librarianship, administration and management techniques, and endless listings of tools, accessories, jobs, and vendors. This is a site you'll want to bookmark and visit again and again!

Librarian as an Integration Partner is a set of first-rate bookmarks from Patti Tjomsland, the library media specialist at Mark Morris High School in Longview, Washington. She developed these resources for a presentation she did at last year's Classroom Connect conference in Anaheim, and they are still pertinent today. If you work with teachers to help them integrate across the curriculum, Patti's recommendations are fabulous!

Writing for the Web is another fine example of how librarians share the wealth to champion the cause of the profession. Traditional literacy meets digital literacy as this Ohio State page offers a guide to creating HTML documents that will add a new dimension of accessibility to any library program. This is wonderful for librarians just getting their feet wet on the Web!


In the last decade, many new media have emerged that provide new ways to advance the cause of traditional literacy while adding the need for a new kind of information: digital literacy. The Media Literacy Online Project is an excellent place for librarians to get a handle on the many facets of information literacy. It is a comprehensive resource for everyone concerned with the influence of media in the lives of children.

The Media Literacy Clearinghouse is a truly thoughtful compilation of professional materials on almost every imaginable aspect of information literacy -- from an examination of different media to gender issues, propaganda, advertising, and the Internet. These links are vital in any deliberation of media and its impact on learning.

For a specific look at print media, The Newseum, The Newspapers in Education Archive, and The New York Times Learning Network all offer some of the best coverage of newspapers in a digital medium.


When all is said and done, any librarian will tell you that books are still the bottom line in the library game. Consider the Malaspina Great Books Interdisciplinary Matrix as an example of how an online resource can truly enrich the good work you already do. Other book sites that you might wish to check out include these:


No one has been more adaptable and open to new trends in education than librarians. They keep up on pedagogical trends, technological advances, kids' reading interests, and new titles aplenty. We should all aspire to be as proactive, flexible, and receptive as today's cybrarian! With resources like those cited above, every educator's job is made easier. Thanks to cybrarians everywhere for supporting all of us in teaching the literacies of the 21st century!

Article by Walter McKenzie
Education World®
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