I always find myself amazed at just how much trends and politics play into the history of education and through that to school libraries. I know its one of those things that actually should be fairly obvious since its been going on for a couple centuries, but it still surprises me. Part of it I think is that there’s this ideal of education that it should somehow be beyond the normal back and forths of politics and focused on teaching. Though as you go more into things then its clear that what’s going to be taught really depends a lot on what’s going on in the world and what’s seen as important by the people who are teaching. Then it all makes sense, because education is very reactionary, most of the trends and movements seem to have been caused by we have to get better at this or we’re not good enough at this.
One thing I like especially about the AASL guidelines is that they seem to be taking action and saying, well we’ve been reactionary and it hasn’t worked that well. So now we’re going to take charge and say, this is what we think is important and why. Its a powerful idea that I really like since it seems to be a way to really do more in the world of a school where so much is reactionary to be the one in charge of taking action. It seems like school librarians have a lot of power in terms of changing things, because they have the possibility of moving in and around the various structures that teachers might not be able to. A good school librarian can see and identify the current and coming trends and make a plan that will use them but not hopefully be fully controlled by them. I’m really curious to learn more about how school librarians try to take action instead of just being reactionary.