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Media Center Philosophy

School library media programs have experienced radical changes during the last decade. The new edition of Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning describes the changes that will shape the content of school library media programs now and in the future. Students and their learning are still the heart of programs and services, and the new Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning contains information literacy standards for students that reflect the advent of electronic information sources and technology into the library media program.

The role of the library media specialist is divided into three major areas that address the responsibilities of the position: learning and teaching, information access, and program administration. Information literacy is at the core of any school library media program. Today's students are living in a world that has been radically changed by the availability of tremendous amounts of information. They must be prepared to locate, evaluate, and synthesize the information so that it is meaningful to them. The library media specialist assumes an important role in collaborating with teachers to plan learning activities that address curricular objectives and information access skills. The library media specialist links students, teachers, and others with the information sources that fill their needs.

As educational programs move from teacher-centered activities to learner-centered ones, the library media specialist becomes a vital member of the school staff, collaborating with teachers and students to meet information and curricular needs. As program administrator, the library media specialist works with members of the learning community to define the policies of the program and to guide all activities that are involved in it. Budget planning, equipment and facility maintenance, and staff management are critical components of the position of library media specialist.

Based on the guidelines presented in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning, the library media specialist:

- Promotes and reinforces students' interests and abilities in reading, listening, and viewing. 

- Fosters information strategies and abilities that students need to access global information sources.

- Develops students' abilities to interact effectively with information and to construct meaningful knowledge such as: 
          - analyzing information sources.
          - recognizing varying perspectives.
          - using information in critical thinking, decision making, problem solving.
          - creating presentations that communicate new found knowledge. 
          - acting responsibly when accessing information. 
          - developing into lifelong learners.

- Collaborates with students and other members of the learning community to analyze learning and information needs, to locate and use resources, and to communicate the information the resources provide.                 

- Identifies connections across curricular and student information needs with the variety of print, nonprint, and electronic information sources

- Provides leadership in acquiring and evaluating information resources in all formats

- Defines the policies of the library media program and guides and directs all activities related to it.

Information and communication issues have always been the concern of the library media specialist and the library media program. The role of the library media specialist is critical in developing future leaders who have the knowledge, abilities, and attitudes that are necessary for existence in the communication age.