Ifla pre event_helen_boelens2


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IFLA2010 Pre-event about the future of the School Libraries, Burgåeden 9.08.2010 in Gøteborg, Sweden

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Ifla pre event_helen_boelens2

  1. 1. Changing times : school librarians and information specialists co-operating at international level to promote role of the school library and information centre in education in digital Europe Presented by: Helen Boelens ENSIL Foundation Gothenburg, Sweden. August 2010. hlb 1
  2. 2. Introduction: The future of (school) libraries • An old Norwegian fairy tale (The three Billy Goats Gruff - De tre bukkene Bruse) to illustrate different points of view : • http://www.atozteachingresources.com/images/BillyGoatsGruff.jpg hlb 2
  3. 3. What is happening in other library sectors? How are other libraries addressing “changing times”? Example: The ShanachieTour : A Library Road Trip around the world – Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap van de Geer and Geert van den Boogaard. (from the DOC, Public Library, Delft, the Netherlands. Asking questions in different countries throughout the world : interviews and films (at their own expense) – available via Internet. http://wordpress.shanachietour.com/about/ hlb 3
  4. 4. How my own study in “changing times” began Local study How my school addressed these “changing times” Development of the Kalsbeek Information Literacy Matrix (KILM) – began in 1997 - (at the initiative of a member of the school leadership, Dr. Jaco Schouwenaar): • Original objectives were to combine three factors: – Educational reforms, introduction of new literacies (incl. : information, digital and media literacy) – New theories and concepts of learning (incl.: theories of multiple intelligences (M.I.), learning to Learn, individual (independent or learner-based learning, co-operative or collaborative learning, competency-based learning, inguiry-based learning, guided inquiry, E-learning. – The introduction of ICT throughout the school as an educational tool . • The ultimate goal was to maintain or increase the quality of education throughout the school in “changing times”. hlb 4
  5. 5. How my own study began (cont.) European (international) study • Question asked by founders of ENSIL (European Network for School Libraries and Information Literacy) in 2003. • At the beginning of the study, I had to decide, as a researcher, exactly what we are looking for and what we want to find out. Dutch national study in 2005 (described in earlier presentations and reports by Boekhorst, Van Veen and Boelens. hlb 5
  6. 6. We are all librarians. We love stories! The following story helps to describe the problem. An old story from the Hodja (philosopher), Mulla Nasruddin to illustrate European (international) research goals hlb 6
  7. 7. http://gurdjieffdominican.com/mulla_nassr_eddin_files/image001.jpg hlb 7
  8. 8. http://www.aecunity.net/Portals/657/storytelling.jpg hlb 8
  9. 9. The 3 groups of “researchers” hlb 9
  10. 10. The fruit they found hlb 10
  11. 11. What the people learned hlb 11
  12. 12. Objectives of the study Question: • What are we looking for? • What does this study want to find out? • How are we going to do that (at International level)? hlb 12
  13. 13. The KILM which has been implemented at the Kalsbeek College, using the school library as the heart of the learning environment, has lead to an increase in educational quality throughout the school. Would it be possible to use the KILM (or a similar sub-matrix) in other schools throughout Europe? hlb 13
  14. 14. If the school library impacts educational quality and academic achievement, how can these factors be described and measured at international level? throughout Europe? hlb 14
  15. 15. Important factors about this study which need to be considered:  The diversity of school librarianship – it has many different faces (Coatney, 2010)  It is a European (international) study.  A positive study makes it possible to present research to the international community (EU, and other international organisations). Good for school library advocacy.  It requires co-operation from different disciplines: education and LIS (library and information science) – cross-discipline.  It also requires co-operation from those who are interested in the introduction of ICT as an educational tool into schools.  It has both educational and political implications. hlb 15
  16. 16. Which factors in both disciplines (education and LIS) were addressed in the study at the Kalsbeek College? • Educational reform; • The introduction of ICT as an educational tool into schools). • The use of ICT in schools for managerial and administrative objectives was not studied; • The importance of traditional forms of learning; • Changes in teaching and learning; • The use of new theories of learning; • New learning environments; • The new or altered role of the school library and information centre; • Changes in job roles; training. hlb 16
  17. 17. Review of the literature carried out in Dutch and English at European, national and local level: An overview of the subject areas addressed during the review of the literature, relevant to this study. . Information Ages The educational vision and expectations when Historical context ICT was introduced into schools in the 1990’s The historical objectives of school Role of libraries libraries and their educational objectives. and school libraries The importance of traditional forms of learning Effect on educational quality and academic achievement Changes in society since the beginning of Changes in teaching and learning The new or altered role of school The present day functions of the school the contemporary information age libraries and information centres library and the school information specialist. Social context New forms of learning A new job role for the school How these staff members can influence information specialist educational quality, learning outcomes and New learning environments The actual changes which have taken place academic achievement. within the school since the introduction of ICT into schools New job roles The review of the literature was carried out in Dutch and English at European, national and local level hlb 17
  18. 18. Decisions which needed to be made before the research could begin: hlb 18
  19. 19. Decision 1: Which countries should take part in this study? • Members of the European Union and/or members of the Council of Europe; • Countries which were formerly part of the U.S.S.R.; • Different language communities of Belgium; • Separate countries within the U.K. A total of 61 countries. hlb 19
  20. 20. List of countries which have been included in this study (61 countries):  Albania  Greece  Poland  Andorra  Hungary  Portugal  Armenia  Iceland  Romania  Austria  Rep. of Ireland  Russian Federation  Azerbaijan  Italy  San Marino  Belarus  Kazakhstan  Serbia  Belgium (3 communities)  Kosovo  Slovakia  Bosnia & Herzegovina  Kyrgyzstan  Slovenia  Bulgaria  Latvia  Spain  Croatia  Liechtenstein  Sweden  Cyprus  Lithuania  Switzerland  Czech Rep.  Luxembourg  Tajikistan  Denmark  Rep. of Macedonia  Turkey  Estonia  Malta  Turkmenistan  Finland  Moldova  Ukraine  France  Monaco  United Kingdom (incl. England,  Rep. of Georgia  Montenegro Northern Ireland, Scotland and  Germany  Netherlands Wales)  Norway  Uzbekistan. hlb 20
  21. 21. Decision 2: Definition of terms – the study must make comparisons at international level:  International definitions are needed for:  a school library;  a school librarian;  educational quality and academic achievement. hlb 21
  22. 22. Decision 3: What is the importance of language in this international study? In the 61 countries which will be studied, 52 national and/or official languages are spoken and used. Ease of communication at international level? Accuracy of translations of concepts and data. hlb 22
  23. 23. List of official or national languages which have been taken into account in this study (52 languages).  Abkhazian  French  Norwegian  Albanian  Frisian  Polish  Armenian  Galician  Portuguese  Azerbaijani  Georgian  Romanian  Azeri  German  Romansh  Basque  Greek  Russian  Belarusian  Hungarian  Serbian  Bosnian  Icelandic  Serbo-Croatian  Bulgarian  Irish  Slovak  Catalan  Italian  Slovenian  Croatian  Kazakh  Spanish (Castilian)  Czech  Kyrgyz  Swedish  Danish  Latvian  Tajik  Dutch, (Netherlands), Flemish  Lithuanian  Turkish  English  Luxembourgish  Turkmen  Estonian  Macedonian  Ukrainian  Finnish  Maltese  Uzbek  Moldovan hlb 23
  24. 24. hlb 24
  25. 25. hlb 25
  26. 26. “Invisible” or “Silent” school libraries : IFLA/FAIFE World Report 2007.  School libraries in countries which were part of the former U.S.S.R, or  School libraries which came under communist influence after World War 2.  How can these school libraries be described: facilities, etc. compared with other countries in this survey? When were they set up?  Do they comply with the IFLA School Library Manifesto? Demonstrates how important some politicians believe these libraries to be – used to improve educational quality and also for filtered knowledge and political indoctrination. hlb 26
  27. 27. Countries in former USSR and/or under Communist influence after World War 2: Number of school libraries reported to the IFLA/FAIFE World Report 2007.  Albania : 1700 school libraries  Latvia : 1099 school libraries  Armenia : 1353 school libraries  Lithuania : 1312 school libraries  Azerbaijan : No information received  Rep. of Macedonia : No information received  Belarus : No information received  Moldova : 1433 school libraries  Bosnia & Herzegovina : 204 school libraries  Poland : 15200 school libraries  Bulgaria (2 figures received: 1465 or 2599 school  Romania : No information received libraries  Russia : 66000 school libraries  Croatia : 1264 school libraries  Serbia : 1700 school libraries  Czech Rep. : 4151 school libraries  Slovakia : 5483 school libraries  Estonia : 451 school libraries  Slovenia : 648 school libraries  Rep. of Georgia : No information received  Tajikistan : No information received  Germany (former DDR) : See country report Germany  Turkmenistan : No information received  Hungary : 4347 school libraries  Ukraine : 20600 school libraries  Kazakhstan : 6852 school libraries  Uzbekistan : No information received.  Kyrgyzstan : 2133 school libraries A total of approx. 140,000 school libraries. hlb 27
  28. 28. Some of the other international surveys and studies which were discussed in this study: Library studies: Doctoral thesis – Dr. Laurel Anne Clyde (1981) Singh school library survey (1993); Libecon millennium (library) study (2000) – included school libraries; UNESCO pilot (library) study (2008) – did not include school libraries. Also the IFLA/FAIFE World Report (2007) Various educational studies (described in detail in the dissertation included): e.g. Eurydice database, Korte and Husing (2006), PIRLS testing (2007), PISA, European Schoolnet, European Commission, Eurydice, UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank etc. Question: Who supplied data to these studies? How accurate was it? hlb 28
  29. 29. How was information for this European study collected?  Difficulties in collecting data, confirmed by other international surveys;  Accuracy of qualitative and quantitative data – had reliable national surveys been held? Who supplied the information? Political implications; Hearsay; Opinions;  4 ENSIL surveys;  From both traditional and digital information resources: Books, reports, surveys etc.;  Interviews (traditional and via Internet);  Using Web 2.0 communication hlb 29
  30. 30. hlb 30
  31. 31. Which data was collected in the country reports?  Population, GNI per capita;  Education at primary and secondary school level (expenditure on education, adult literacy, school enrolment ratios, training of teachers, compulsory education and gross enrolment rates)  Ranking in international tests (e.g. PISA and PIRLS) related to educational achievement;  Introduction of ICT into schools (including school library);  ICT policy in schools;  Media, information and new literacy policies;  Libraries, incl. school libraries and information centres;  General background information;  Specific information about school libraries and information centres. hlb 31
  32. 32. The original research document (Boelens, 2010) studied: • a total of approximately 191,000 school libraries which were reported in the 61 countries in this study (most information collected in 2007). • these school libraries serve more than 115 million pupils and their teachers hlb 32
  33. 33. What happened during this research process?  Important preliminary steps have been taken to improve and accentuate the importance of co- operation between various stakeholders in education and librarianship.  The use of digital technology plays a role in this. Every second the WWW is expanding and changing. It provides facilities, including important communication facilities which make this kind of qualitative research possible. hlb 33
  34. 34. hlb 34
  35. 35. The European school librarianship web. Andorra Finland Rep. Of Germany Georgia Albania France Rep. Of Belgium (3 Cyprus Czech Macedonia communities) Estonia Armenia Rep . Malta Bosnia & Azerbaijan Bulgaria Kyrgyzstan Belarus Herzegovina Croatia Greece Hungary Denmark Norway Kazakhstan Austria Rep. Of Ireland United Kosovo Liechtenstein Core of the web of Romania Kingdom Monaco (England - information for school Northern librarians and information Netherlands Ireland, specialists. Luxembourg Scotland, Wales) Moldova Russian Iceland Italy Federation Serbia Slovenia Spain Sweden Lithuania Switzerland Latvia Slovakia Montenegro Uzbekistan San Portugal Marino Turkmenistan Poland Turkey Ukraine Tajikistan hlb 35
  36. 36. The greatest problem in this communication is language. hlb 36
  37. 37. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 1: What is the present state of school libraries at European level? What is their mission?  Answer: Since many of the countries in this survey do not use a specific definition for what a school library actually is, there is no specific way in which this question can be answered. This study has revealed a great diversity in ‘school libraries’. Some are of excellent quality and are run by trained personnel. Others are merely a box of books in a school cupboard. The mission of the school library has not been clearly defined in many countries. hlb 37
  38. 38. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 2: What are the goals of the school library in digital Europe?  Answer: The School Library Manifesto (IFLA/UNESCO 1999) and the School Library Guidelines (IFLA/UNESCO 2002) define these goals for the countries which are members of these organizations. Clear national definitions (per country) of what the ‘school library’ actually is, and how it can be described within the present day educational process, were difficult to locate. The documents mentioned above may need updating. hlb 38
  39. 39. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 3: What is the role of school libraries and the library staff within the school since the introduction of educational reforms, ICT and new forms of learning into schools?  Answer: This role varies from country to country. In countries which fall into the middle or low income bracket, emphasis is placed on the importance of the school library, however its role is often concerned with literacy goals and the distribution of books and textbooks. In some countries with a high GNI per capita, the school library and the library staff play an important role in: 1. the implementation of literacy goals, 2. the implementation of ICT as an educational tool, and 3. the introduction of new forms of learning in an interdisciplinary way throughout the school. hlb 39
  40. 40. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 4: Would it be possible to introduce the sub-matrix known as the KILM into these school libraries?  Answer: This would be primarily dependent upon: – political support at national level; – the educational vision and leadership qualities of the school directors; – the quality of the library staff; – co-operation with other members of the teaching staff (lead by the school leadership); – availability of continuous training for school leaders, teachers and library staff and – the facilities which are available within the school and in the school library. hlb 40
  41. 41. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 5: What facilities would be needed for a successful implementation?  Answer: These facilities may vary – the ability of the school library staff to adjust to different facilities is the most important factor. hlb 41
  42. 42. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 6: A. What are the critical success factors. B. Are there other factors which are important in order to implement the KILM throughout the school?  Answer A: – Co-operation at international level between two disciplines (education and LIS) and also with those who are interested in the introduction of ICT into schools (as an educational tool); – An understanding of current critical theory for library and information science (Leckie 2010) and the need to cross-discipline exploration; – A clear understanding of the issues at political, governmental and school leadership level. These are described in the dissertation. – An understanding of the many faces of school librarianship – Clear definitions.  Answer B: – The co-operation between different members of the school staff. hlb 42
  43. 43. Answers to research questions at European level:  Question 7:  What changes in educational quality, learning outcomes and educational achievement could be expected?  Answer:  An increase in educational quality, learning outcomes and academic achievement can be expected. hlb 43
  44. 44. Conclusions 1. The quality of education, at European level is limited, per country, by various socio-economic and cultural factors such as poverty, wars and disasters, politics, educational policy and the quality of the education system, investment in education, the academic quality of the teaching staff, the facilities which the school provides and the attitudes of the school community, including pupils and parents. 2. The quality of the school library is only partially dependent upon the facilities or the amount of ICT hardware or software which it has at its disposal. These facilities need to be in balance with the educational objectives of the school (Kennisnet, 2006). These factors are co-ordinated by the school leadership. 3. Countries which have made large investments in education and also in ICT hardware and software have not necessarily shown an increase in educational quality and academic achievement. 4. School libraries are special libraries which play an important role in two different processes – the educational process and the library process. Co-operation between these two processes is essential if school libraries are to be effective. School libraries no longer play a dependent role in education and librarianship (Clyde, 1981). 5. Since the introduction of ICT within the school, the trained school librarian plays an even more important and essential additional role - that of a school information specialist. hlb 44
  45. 45. Conclusions (continued) 6. Some tertiary level LIS and educational institutions (throughout the world) are considering and implementing changes in their curriculum in order to prepare school librarians (school information specialists) for their new role. 7. The national school library law in each country is very important. It provides clear definitions of a “school library” and also describes the work of the school librarian; it provides “status” for the school library and reduces confusion which may result in inaccurate data being forwarded to national or international surveys. 8. Accurate, quality data on school libraries needs to be collected at national level, on a worldwide basis. 9. Some countries within Europe do not have a school library tradition. 10. All libraries (at all levels) should support each other’s work. There should not be a competition for status or funding. Also there is a need for better cross-discipline communication. Co-operation between the library process and the educational process is essential. hlb 45
  46. 46. Other important factors, which have been studied in earlier research, were confirmed:  Under certain specific circumstances and when there is co-operation within the school community, school libraries enhance educational quality and academic achievement.  The school librarian is qualified as both a teacher and a librarian. This person teaches/ instructs pupils and teachers throughout the school, and has similar status to other teachers.  The training and re-training of school librarians is imperative and must occur frequently, in order to keep abreast of new ICT trends. The research shows that this essential training at tertiary level no longer takes place in a number of countries, for various reasons.  School leaders and other teachers sometimes do not understand the work which the school librarian carries out. They do not realise or exploit the many advantages of co-operation with the school librarian. hlb 46
  47. 47. What must we do for the survival of school librarianship? • Communicate as widely as possible with colleagues throughout the world. • Support each other at local, national and international level. • Provide Information to others. Information has been provided by national and international organizations for this presentation. • Facilitate translations of important international school library documents into national and official languages. hlb 47
  48. 48. Final remarks  My thanks to people from many different countries and cultures, and who spoke many different languages, who joined together with me to make this survey of school libraries possible.  They have tried to tell the international community what school libraries in their own countries are like.  Information was provided in an atmosphere of trust and co-operation. The researcher is very grateful for this support but is also aware of the ethical responsibility to present this information in a fair, responsible and impartial way.  Thanks to all my virtual friends and colleagues for their co-operation. hlb 48