Virtual libraries provide immediate access to a range of resources not available in physical collections.
While physical libraries operate with designated hours, virtual libraries are available anytime and anywhere there is an Internet connection
Virtual libraries offer opportunities for learning that are not possible in their physical counterparts.
Their sources can be searched more efficiently than those in physical libraries, and the information they contain can be updated more frequently (Neuman, 1997). Well-designed virtual library collections are organized and managed to increase productivity and efficiency of the user
Virtual libraries empower the user and promote informal learning
the variety of formats and methods of navigation that can be used in virtual libraries to be one of their greatest strengths
Resources in a virtual library can be organized so that sources for a particular group of users are easily identified. Virtual libraries can be customized for particular schools, grades, and subjects. This variety of formats in presentation and navigation is quite different from that of a physical library.
Through the use of audio and video, virtual libraries can also make resources available to users that are visually and hearing impaired, and they make these resources available in their homes.
Virtual libraries of the future may integrate voice, video, and text for users involved in distance education in remote locations
Virtual libraries have the ability to transform practices and values for those who work in schools and libraries because of the processes that are enabled through virtual resources
the potential of virtual school libraries for changing learning practices, and called on media specialists in schools to build a different type of library collection in virtual libraries, a new vertical file of student-created art, photography, oral histories, local histories, and local survey data on the school server, which would be used to support the local curriculum and compensate for the inadequacies and inefficiencies of commercial clip art and the lack of local resources on the Internet. These locally-produced materials change the nature of library collections, and can influence the type of learning they support.
Virtual libraries require connectivity
Virtual libraries still require skilled professionals to organize, maintain, and help students reap the benefits of this virtual learning environment. "The power of Internet resources remains latent to those without the skills to use them" (
Ryder and Wilson (1996) recognized that virtual spaces require scaffolding and coaching. “Who are the librarians in this virtual library? Who will provide the scaffolding and coaching for the unskilled researcher? ... Who will classify the knowledge and information? The tasks don't go away in the virtual environment ” (Timeliness of Holdings section, para. 4). The teacher-librarian is needed more than ever in this virtual library guiding students in their selection, evaluation, and use of the many electronic options.
Virtual libraries have increased the number of resources available to library users, but, often, many of these resources would not be materials that the library would ordinarily add to their collections.
The mere presence of virtual libraries, however, does not cause learning to occur. It is how these libraries are utilized by students and teachers that will enable learning.
Virtual libraries present a new paradigm for learning in school libraries. They have the ability to transform the relationship between learners and resources, facilitating both formal and informal learning. With careful design and the support of skilled information professionals, virtual libraries can provide powerful environment for student learning.
Local Schools Battling High Tech Distractions–Seems the beligerent kids in San Diego schools are actually text messaging during class, admitting to cheating with their phones, and listening to iPods during lectures. Why is that? “Social psychologist Jean Twenge believes she knows why personal technology devices are all the rage among teenagers. Her research indicates young people today are [wait for it…] more self-absorbed than ever before, and iPods and cellphones play into that.” Was that absorbed or abs-bored? The administration response? No surprise… “So Vista students now can only use electronic devices at lunch, break, or after school. Students who break the rule more than once could face detention. And the district is even holding teachers more accountable.” But here’s the good news. There is another voice! Jeff Robin of High Tech High says “Kids will always change, it’s up to the teachers to do something more, and it’s a lot of work. I’ve seen so many teachers out there that say, well I’ve been giving these same worksheets out for 30 years and if it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for these kids. It’s not though, times have changed.”
Below you will find links to a selection of my online activities over the last 5 years. Some of these were assignments for my MEd, some were created to facilitate PD sessions I presented, while others were created to assist me in my instructional endeavors as both a classroom teacher and a teacher-librarian.
I completed my MEd in Elementary Education with a specialization in Teacher-Librarianship in 2011. I am interested in many aspects of teaching, learning and leading, but specifically: school leadership, leadership roles of teachers and support staff, BYOD initiatives and mobile learning, inquiry based learning and creative approaches to planning performance based assessment projects through inquiry, technology integration and web 2.0 use in schools in conjunction with the school library, cross-curricular and cross-grade integration, teacher collaboration and co-teaching with learning specialists, and of course using the school library as a learning and teaching centre of the school. I am a full time teacher-librarian at a large junior high in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. I am also a wife and mother of two wonderful little girls