Do you agree with Johnson that students, and indeed younger teachers, are increasingly ‘post-literate’ in the manner that he defines and uses this term? Are school libraries and their collections already adopting the critical attributes that Johnson is proposing?
- Johnson (2010) defined post-literate “as those who can read but who choose to meet their primary information and recreational needs through audio, video, graphics and gaming.”For the middle school students where I teach, I would agree that they are increasingly ‘post-literate’ as most have easy access to ICT and the Internet. Being digital natives growing up with the Internet and interactive multimedia digital information, it would be the most natural behavior to prefer the multimedia, multiformat and multimodal information access. However, when situation demands that students refer to print or online e-databases recommended for research assignments, they would do the necessary. The critical attributes of a library that serves a post-literate(PL) users recommended by Johnson are daunting, however most school libraries, I believe would have some of the attributes at varying degrees. The middle school library I work in do not have the following attributes:
- Support of gaming for recreation.
- Purchase of high-value online information resources due to budget constraints.
- Provision of resources to create visual and auditory materials vis-à-vis video production suite.
‘A library without books?’ by Mal Lee provided useful food for thoughts. Personally, I have associated the term, ‘library’ with ‘physical books’, as I grew up in a traditional library-a place for reading and loan of books. In order for our current Generation Y (1981-2000) students who are highly wired and social media savvy, we may have to embrace far more diverse information sources than books such as eBooks, e-Databases, e-magazines and other forms of digital resources. To remain relevant and connected to our students, the ‘library’ will have to be flipped and move with the changing emerging technologies, diverse format and mode of information delivery in the current digital environment. Perhaps it is in this context, that Mal Lee suggested the notion of a library without books. A change in nomenclature may be necessary now more than ever, to reflect the relevance of the library in today’s progressive digital world. The new label should be one that will profile the library as one that is current and progressive. In the school context, I concur with others that ‘information services centre’ is certainly not appropriate as it reminds me of what I see in shopping malls or hotels!!