Spending some time in our library today, I saw framed on the wall this “word cloud” as a poster.  I was delighted to learn and then recognize that the word cloud is derived from the essay our new Librarian and Director of Information Literacy, Laura Lee Calverley, originally submitted as part of our application for the position.   Our search process asked candidates to submit an essay defining the 21st century library.  That essay can be found here.

Over the past few months we have at St. Gregory conducted a comprehensive search for a new Librarian and Director of Information Literacy.   As part of the search, we requested of candidates that they prepare and submit an essay on “Reinventing the 21st century library,” and we received nearly fifty applications and accompanying essays.

Below are excerpts from some of the best essays submitted (with the author’s permission).  If you read onto the end, you’ll find the last has a particularly fun style, written as a day in the life of a reinvented 21st century librarian.

My great appreciation to all of these fine 21st century librarians, and to all who submitted.  Enjoy:

Jennifer Arnott

The rapid pace of technology change means that many librarians and educators constantly feel behind. There’s always some new tool, some new idea, something we haven’t read yet. My goal as a librarian is to be aware of the options, but to take a step back, and look at what is most effective for this community, right now.

For example, if we look at seeking out information, each of us has our own preferences about how we interact with information: some people prefer print, some love reading on a screen. (more…)

The following essay was written by our new incoming Librarian and Director of Information Literacy, Laura Lee Calverley.   She prepared this piece as part of her application for our position.   Next week I intend to post excerpts from other essays we received in the course of our search.

The 21st Century School Library: Literacy in a New Era

Traditionally, the school library has been a house of books, supporting the development of student literacy and learning. Though radical changes have swept us into the Information Age, the overall goal of the school library remains the same: To teach and promote literacy and to continue to provide students access to learning materials and information. Focused no longer on the idea of literacy being cemented to books and other printed materials, the modern school library appropriately embraces a modern idea of literacy—an information literacy. To truly teach information literacy, the 21st century library and the 21st century librarian must create a safe and welcoming learning environment that promotes a modern day literacy; teaching a comfort and understanding of the intellectual concepts behind information technology, whilst maintaining the library as a thriving center of research, reading and learning. (more…)

Here at St. Gregory, we are wishing the best and offering our great appreciation to our long-time Librarian, Mrs. Lois Speetzen.  For nearly 15 years she has shared her love of literature with students, and displayed a magic touch for her extraordinary ability to find the right match of book and student, day after day, year after year.

The position description for our next Librarian and Director of Information Literacy is below, after the jump (more).

In preparation for our search, I spent the afternoon in the offices of the Main Library of the University of Arizona, with its Head Librarian, Carla Stoffle, who is “past president of the Association of College and Research Libraries, past chair of the Center for Research Libraries and the Greater Western Library Alliance, and past treasurer of ALA.”

Here I want to quote her at some length, to share with readers her extraordinarily well informed vision of how libraries and librarianship is changing.

A Library is a learning place, not a storehouse.

Libraries are places for study spaces, for group study, for active learning, for collaborative learning, and for cutting edge technology.

Our goal is to become as digital as possible as fast as possible: our journals are now nearly entirely only available online, and 53% of our books purchased last year were e-books.  (more…)