Where are we in the education literature?
Over the past three years, I have reviewed hundreds of professional books in the area of school libraries and also in general education. At this point, I can count on one hand the number of times writers in education and technology mention the school library. When particularly disappointed about a particular writer’s lack of recognition, I usually email them and say that I am reviewing their book and ask about linking to the school library or the lack thereof. I get several common excuses. One is that they just presume that the school library is there waiting in the background to support thier ideas for teaching and learning. Another is shock that school librarians would be interested in their ideas for higher-level learning. A third is doubt that school librarians would really have the knowledge or interest in getting involved at a level I describe.. Realizing that we just have not become central in the education literature, I have recently announced a major initiative for the Treasure Mountain Research Retreat to be held during the preconference days of the AASL National Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina in November 2009. Readers can find information about this at: treasuremountain.pbwiki.com. You may need a www on the front. The challenge is to have small teams select a major educational writer like Carol Ann Tomlinson or Jay McTigue and then request and conduct a 30 minute interview brainstorming with that author their ideas for transforming school libraries to work at the center of their educational ideas. At the retreat, we will put all these interviews together and write some kind of white paper for broad distribution. As I write and work toward the reinvention of this field in the direction of a learning commons, it seems to me that we just have to move into the center of teaching and learning since the old model just doesn’t seem to work any more. If you as a reader would like to conduct an interview, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org