INLS 241: The School Library Media Center



Due Sept. 5, 1996

Anticipated Length: approximately 5 typescript pages plus bibliography

Purpose. The goal of this assignment is to focus your attention on the world around you and all the social, technological, and educational changes that are taking place that may have an impact on your future career. As school media specialists and educational leaders, it is important to be knowledgeable and articulate about these current issues.

Procedure.Please follow the steps outlined below in completing this assignment.

  1. Read Kathleen Craver’s School Library Media Centers in the 21st Century (Greenwood, 1994), a required text.
  2. Pick a topic from the right hand column of the appended list. NOTE: If none of these topics appeal to you or if you have a burning interest in a different topic relevant to the educational environment in which you will be working, you may develop your own topic. Of course your topic should be supported with current literature.
  3. Refer to what Craver has to say about this issue you have selected and the implications she draws for school library media centers and school library media specialists, especially the “challenges” she outlines in Chapter 8. From the education and library literature, the popular press and news media, and Internet sources, select and read a few (4-5) additional items relevant to this topic that have been published since 1994. Read them with a critical and evaluative eye (see 5c below).
  4. Write a short (5-6 pages) paper on your findings. The paper should:
    1. Define your topic and summarize the “state-of-the-art” as it is described in the literature.
    2. Describe your own beliefs about the importance and possible impact of this topic on the services of the SLMC and the work of the SLMS.
    3. Append your bibliography with a brief (one line) evaluative annotation for each source.
  5. Come to class on September 5 prepared to discuss your topic. NOTE: Be able to talk about your topic without reading from your paper.

ISSUES (Grouped by Trends)

As Discussed in Craver

Technology Trends Emerging Integrated Infrastructure;
Multimedia & Multi Access Computers;
Readily Available Digitized Information;
Cable, Satellites, ISDN Networks, etc.;
Hardware Changes - Portables, Scanners, etc.;
Software Changes - OS, Databases, Hypertext;
Interactive Media;
Distance Learning;
Networks and Consortia - National & International;
Intelligent Systems
Economic Trends Increased Size of National Debt;
Increased Size of U.S. & World Population;
Older Average Age of U.S. Population;
Increase in Categorical Funding;
Business Involvement in School Funding;
Political Advocacy;
Technological Substitutions for Humans;
Emphasis on Output Measures & Accountability;
Employment Trends Shift from National to World Economy;
Shift from Manufacturing to Service Jobs;
Increase in Computer-Dependent Jobs;
Rising Skills Requirement for All Jobs;
Greater Competition;
More Women, Minorities & Immigrants in Workforce;
Educational Trends Illiteracy & Declining Educational Achievements;
Educational Inequalities;
Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools
; Site-Based Governance;
Magnet Schools & School Choice;
Co-op Programs – Work and School
Need for Symbolic-Analytic Skills;
Social & Behavior Trends Multicultural, Multilingual Society;
Adolescent Pregnancy;
Children as Targeted Consumers;
Children as Employees;
AIDS, Drugs and Violence;
Instructional Trends Impact of Instructional Technology;
Faculty and Parent Instruction;
Information Literacy;
Resources-Based Learning;
Organizational & Management Trends Use of SLMC as Child Care Facility;
Task of Managing Diverse Technologies;
Task of Managing Diverse Collections;
Installing Networks & Other Technology;
Budget Management;
Resource Sharing & Networking;
Coordinating Collection Development;
SLMC & SLMS Performance Measures

Revised 8/6/96