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Life-long Learning and Schools

"The focus of school library media programs has moved from resources to students to creating a community of lifelong learners" (Information Power, 1998, p.v)

A primary mission of schools and particularly school library media programs is to help learners become independent, productive thinkers. "The library media program combines effective learning and teaching strategies and activities with information access skills" (Information Power, 1998, p.1).

For learning to be efficient, efficient, and appealing, people need to be information literate. According to Information Power (1998, p. 1), "information literacy - the ability to find and use information - is the keystone of lifelong learning. Creating a foundation for lifelong learning is at the heart of the school library media program."

According to Don Tapscott, our young people are learning, working, thinking, shopping, and creating differently than adults of the baby boomer generation. How can we build an effective learning environment for these students?

Go to the Growing Up Digital by Don Tapscott to learn more about how the lives of your children might be different from your growing up years. Interview a child or teen about their daily life. Do they consider themselves "information literate"? What do today's children need to know to succeed in today's world?

Explore the online wikibook for young adults called Education for Increasing Expertise by David Moursund. Think about the purpose of formal and information education. Why is life long learning important? How do people develop expertise?

Educators as Life-long Learners

From reading novels and nonfiction works to exploring videos and music, educators should practice what they preach. Teachers and library media specialist must be effective users of ideas and information themselves, before they can help others in this process. For example, the National Council of Teachers of English's Teachers as Readersproject helps teachers encourage students to become lifelong readers by modeling reading.

Lifelong learning is about anticipation, exploration, and reflection. Think about your own life. How has your time been spent? How would you like to spend your time? Each person makes their own choices and decisions. What will yours be? As educators we need to model the kind of life we envision for our students including enthusiasm for life, love of reading, and life long learning!

eye means readRead Chapter 1: The Vision of Information Power of Information Power (1998, p. 1-7). The Mission and Goals can also be found at Google Books.

tiny LambLamb's Latitudes
I'm amazed how often I use my information inquiry skills in everyday life. Think about yesterday. How did you use your skills? Sometimes the needs are simple. Yesterday I had these questions: "how late is the restaurant open" and "what's the difference between a Chardonnay and a Gewurztraminer wine"? I also had more complex questions. After a brief rain, a beautiful rainbow appeared. Why do some rainbows appear close and others far away? A segment on CNN got me wondering whether the West Nile virus was something that had made its way to Idaho. I also have longer-term inquiry projects in progress such as our interest in conservation. Living in a motorhome, we relied heavily on Internet resources. With the help of Wikipedia and Google, I found the answers to my simple questions very quickly and lots of ideas to continue working on my bigger issues. How did you deal with your information needs yesterday?

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