In some quarters, when the future of school libraries in discussed, there’s an elephant in the room that is ignored. Debate about the future of school libraries and TLs/SLs has gone on for generations, including discussions about what the ‘school library’ should be called. Now there is a major difference. Take away books from the school library and what is the role of the TL? Ask most people in a typical school and they will find it difficult to find a full time role, and this is mostly because most teachers and students find it difficult to conceptualise that a digital collection needs the same amount of work as a print collection, and maybe more. So we need to start discussing the future – the real, digital future – of school libraries, and working out what the TL’s (whatever s/he may be called in the future) role can and should be. A good place to start is Mal Lee’s article – see it as a challenge.
I have been travelling for the past 4 weeks, to New Zealand, Australia and Dubai, where my wife and I spent the last 2 days of the trip with our son Stuart and daughter in law Catherine. If you’ll pardon the pun, the highlight of the visit was going up the 124th floor (of 160 floors) of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building by quite a long way. From the observation deck, you get a superb view of Dubai, and there is a strange loss of perspective because what would normally seem skyscrapers in cities such as Sydney or London, appear to be quite small. I took photos but the ones on the website are better. Outside the Burj and the surrounding area, there is a large lake and on the hour and half hour, music plays and fountains rise in time to the music. Quite a spectacle, part of which is caught in the photo below.