We have a new cyber center housed in the library. While, invade may be a strong word, we do see a consistent stream of students every day utilizing the Cyber Center!!!
Who knows??? With predictions of more and more students who will take advantage of cyber learning (whether hybrid as they are also enrolled in brick and mortar classes or solely cyber) we want and need the library to be a part of the action!
Cyber Students are my Students, too! The Role and Responsibility of the Library Media Specialist
We are witnesses to an education system which is rapidly changing. These changes are an exciting challenge to anyone who wants to maximize potential within the change.
Libraries are a part of that change; we must recognize that our client needs are changing. Our schools often have cyber courses available which are taught by our teaching staff to our students. Any student who is taught by our staff is also our library patron. The challenge is that we may never see that student in the building. Library Media Specialists need to be aware of this concept and assertively work to provide resources to support student success in this setting.
As Library Media Specialists, we are also coaches. We offer our teachers services to help them support student achievement. The cyber teacher has different needs and can be coached in different skills.
It is our mission to support the students enrolled in cyber programs, the teachers that teach in the cyber setting, and the teachers and administrators who support the students enrolled in the program.
Locating it in the Library:
Seriously, I would have been sad if it had been anywhere else in the building. I would have felt out of the loop with the program and very disjointed. If these students were in a different area within the building, I would not be able to reach them. A Librarian has got to make sure she (or he) still reaches her population!
The change required shuffling of sections and even relocating bookshelves. While it created cause to troubleshoot, it has been an asset to the school and the library media center.
I have an opportunity this year to reach everyone involved. Students who, taking cyber at the high school age, are developmentally in need of continued academic guidance.
I am looking forward to watching this program grow and serve the various needs of students. If any school is considering building a cyber center, I highly suggest that it is located in the library and that the librarian has an active role in communicating services and resources!
Benefits of housing the cyber center in the library
- Students can easily access library staff to receive assistance with resources
- Library staff can keep the teacher who provides support up to date with resources and services available
- Library staff has better access to teachers of cyber courses and can offer services (such as teaching them how to screencast as a form of digital communication, helping the teacher digitize content, offering to be a co-teacher on the LMS platform in order to push out information to every student enrolled in the course)
- Administration passes through more often, giving them a better view of daily library activity
- Students who are solely enrolled in cyber courses have exposure to the library facility along with a change of environment
- Promotes the concept of a “learning commons” with a common work space that is not surrounded by classroom walls
- Flexible hours for the cyber center are easily accommodated through the library