The purpose of a library is to provide a variety of resources – to support programmes; to help services in a variety of media; to meet the needs of individuals in the print industry; and to provide resources just for leisure reading or recreation.
The school library plays a central role in any school by being a hub of knowledge and storehouse for information. It plays a significant role in a life of a student. The role of a librarian has changed with the change and advancement in technology. They are now known as Media Resource Specialist.
For IB schools, the library is its vibrant heart. The IB expects the school library “to play a central role in the implementation of the programme(s)”. It should act as a steppingstone in which students are supported in their journey towards developing self-confidence and academic prowess.
IB PYP is based on transdisciplinary themes which have global significance and are explored using knowledge from six subject areas as well as skills with a powerful emphasis on inquiry. Students need to do research to find answers to the questions during the process of inquiry for their ongoing unit of inquiry. The library plays a central role by procuring and providing a range of resources both print and digital, from Grade Nursery to Grade 5, to support the inquiry.
The library in an IB school is a centre for each facilitator to collaborate and plan their units. In the library, students learn how to connect the attributes of IB learner profile, approaches to learning skills and concepts to their Units of Inquiry. IB librarians plan various learning engagements to encourage the students to read and reflect. These planned sessions help learners not only to be a good reader but also to think critically and reflect on their reading. They can take ownership of the same and share their review confidently. With technology finding its way to the hands of our children, it’s important to teach them Digital Citizenship (Common Sense Media Guidelines) as a part of their library classes.
More than this, IB librarians must play many roles which are not limited only to the library or reading. They should support teachers and collaborate with them to conduct the inquiry. They collaborate with the homeroom teachers and single subject teachers to understand their needs and accordingly provide or make available resources. Sometimes teachers plan their learning engagements to be conducted in the library through a gallery walk or display; they work with the technology department and use technology tools to sharpen their students’ understanding.
I would like to conclude by saying that the role of a librarian has undergone a significant change over a period. From the circulation desk to a media resource specialist, the journey has been a beautiful one, where we, IB librarians get a chance to learn and unlearn so many things, and as IB says, to be a lifelong learner indeed.