National Library Camp Feasibility Study
ALA Emerging Leaders 2007, Project Q
George Mason University
Utah Valley State College
Northern Arizona University
Loyola Law Library
Loriene Roy, ALA President-Elect
Kerry Ward, ALA contact
There is a pressing need to fill the ranks of America’s Librarians and other Information Professionals (i.e. archivists, museum curators, etc.). As has been discussed at many meetings, diversity of the profession is a major goal as is attracting the youth of America. The concept of a National Library Camp is a welcome project whose time has finally come. As we embark into the social networking and information sharing of Web 2.0, young people have become more and more internet, communications, and technologically savvy. As information professionals we should be on the cutting edge as well as firmly rooted in traditional librarianship.
A National Library Camp geared towards middle school and/or high school aged youth could be a nurturing and mentoring space for the next generation of Information Professionals. It can be a place for students to find the thrill and challenge of research pursuit and the satisfaction of serving others in completing their information seeking tasks and goals. Technology and established library theory can go hand in hand as we exchange ideas of information needs and solutions among professionals and students.
Academic camps can serve as a model as well as provide an existing framework to insert a “Library/ Informational Profession” module. This module could be integrated into existing sessions of Library Research, or inclusion of information professionals as speakers on Career Panel presentations. Small groups could shadow a librarian for a day/week to observe first hand what the career entails.
Program Proposal – College / University Collaboration
Universities throughout the country have established programs to identify and work with students, usually junior high or high school students. The main goal of these programs is to get students into college. Many students may be at-risk and coming from populations that are considered at-risk economically, environmentally (geographically), and educationally (1st generation college students); or as I like to call them, "the three E's." Programs, such as Upward Bound, Trio Program, and Early Identification Programs are already working with students to help them to think and get into college. In our opinion, the American Library Association should work with these already established programs to incorporate research skills, information literacy/fluency skills, and technology skills that are currently absent from many of these programs. Many of the existing programs are aware of this absence in their programs of these important learning skills. Therefore, one of my suggestions would be to partner up with one of these already existing programs.
Upward Bound - Approximately 850 federally mandated programs throughout the U.S. in both urban and rural areas. There is a summer program component which would allow the American Library Association to create a library and information component to the already existing program.
Trio Programs - Unlike Upward Bound, Trio Programs are tied to a specific school. Therefore, students accepted into these programs and maintain a certain minimum GPA are guaranteed acceptance into the University. (www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/index.html)
Council for Opportunity and Education - Nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the United States. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies that host TRIO Programs to specifically help low-income Americans enter college and graduate....
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