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« 10 questions parents should ask about their children's 1:1 program | Main | Defining the PD roles of the librarian and tech specialist »

And the survey says.... Librarians speak out on 1:1/BYOD

It's not so much what I want to do, as it is what needs to be done.

If you think of it as 'living in beta" and adopt the attitude of "it's okay to try something new and it's okay to experience failure sometimes", you will stay sane and you will be modeling problem-solving for your students. 
                                                   - 1:1/BYOD Library Survey respondents
Earlier this month, Jennifer LaGarde and I sent out a survey asking librarians in 1:1 and BYOD programs for some information. Over the course of two weeks, we received 144 responses. We got some great information.
Below is a summary of the responses - my interpretation, anyway. All the responses (24 single-spaced, 10pt font pages!) can be found here. I've put in bold those items that stood out to me, but all comments were valuable. 

I believe these survey results and comments define the today's relevant school librarian. Read them carefully and if you don't see yourself, be afraid. 

Be very afraid.

with 1 being minor and four being major. 

with 1 being negative and 4 being positive.

with 1 being none and 4 being high. (Yikes!)

In what way(s) has your role as a librarian changed as a result of 1:1/BYOD? What new tasks do you now do to support 1:1/BYOD? (These were separate questions on the survey, but in retrospect should have been one.)

I have to work harder to collaborate with teachers in 1:1 grades, but I am seen as a technology leader way beyond the library walls. - survey comment

Libraries are the "go-to" place for students who need a device or assistance using one. Inventory, tracking, trouble-shooting, management, network management, and even repair facilitation are becoming a part of the librarian's role. Digital citizenship, online searching, and information evaluation instruction have grown in importance.  The librarian models the use of the devices for students and staff, often working with reluctant teachers, and changes lesson plans to take advantage of the devices. Increased blend learning use by librarians and digital communication with students.

While many librarians reported having no role in the planning of the 1:1/BYOD initiative, many stressed the need to be part of it. Active outreach to students and teachers is a new priority.

Many librarians report fewer students coming to the library - and the librarian doing more teaching in the classroom. Others report an increase in usage, especially when the library as been re-designed as a production and social space, with removing shelving often cited. Helping students print was mentioned many times, as was the need for a "beefed-up" wireless infrastructure. Some reports of increased need for monitoring "appropriate use" of devices.

There is a much greater focus on selecting e-resources, especially e-books and "apps", and the librarian is often in charge of learning systems and helping with assistive/adaptive technologies. The library website's importance is growing and the librarian's digital presence has expanded. Librarians have students take advantage of library catalog access via devices instead of catalog terminals. Mentions of working with public library to get access for students to their e-books and magazines. Work with and accommodation of teachers in blended learning environments.

And of course, a few librarians responded that there has been no change at all, and for others it is too soon to tell.

What tasks have you stopped doing because of 1:1/BYOD?

I think I still do much of what I did before 1:1- I just do it differently. 

                                                                 - survey comment

Less scheduling and maintenance of computer labs in library. Less emphasis on print (book) management, including purchasing and shelving. Less time spent sending overdue notices. Students reserve own books.

Less teaching about Dewey, indices, and bibliographies. No hard copies of learning materials. Fewer book talks. Less time spent helping students remember passwords. No enforcement of personal device bans.

"There is nothing I have stopped doing."

Any comments or helpful advice to other librarians?

Professionally, I've been forced to actively engage in social media like Twitter. ScoopIt, etc. I can no longer ignore them as these platforms are the best resource for ideas and questions I have. - survey comment

Form a PLN to keep learning. Define your role to include technology coach. Get technician support. Get administrative support and understanding of librarian's instructional role. Educate admins on e-books and digital resources. Become a tech leader in your school. Be in charge of PD for your building. Be creative about using digital resources to market yourself.

Document what you do each day and how much time is spent doing it. Build your e-book collections and continue supporting a love of reading. Make your library into a "hub of activity." Promote the library as a virtual place rather than a physical space. Keep some desktops in the library. Change the physical layout of the library.
Roll with it! Support 1:1/BYOD initiatives. As teachers what they want their students to know, and help them find resources to accomplish that. Be seen as a person with answers/expertise. Don't lose the human touch in teaching. Be patient with reluctant teachers. Remember start ups can be stressful but smooth out over time. Don't be afraid to let students teach you.

Recognize one's need to change. Don't just do old stuff but with new tools.

"Don't be the first out the door at the end of the day. If the staff won't miss you, you're expendable."
There you go. Jennifer and I are still working on the guide, but hope to have a shareable draft to those who participated in the survey soon. Thanks, as always, for teaching me.

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Reader Comments (2)

Interesting that nearly 1/3 said the impact on the library program has been negative. Would love to unpack that a bit and learn more about what they're seeing...

Thanks for sharing this, Doug. Good stuff!

January 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterScott McLeod

Great question which I will answer on my blog soon!


January 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterDoug Johnson

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