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MA Librarians "Clicking" with Students Online

May 7, 2007


Massachusetts librarians are breaking out of the confines of the library walls and making their knowledge available online. Facebook, MySpace, and instant messenger are all part of the mindset of the move towards "Library 2.0."

Stephen Abrams from library technology group Sirsi Dynix, spoke about "Library 2.0" at last week's annual conference for the Massachusetts Library Association. He says when students used to research from home, they were separated from the help of a librarian, but that's changing.

“They're using these social tools that allow commentary and interaction with their end-users to be effectively used to make sure that they're in the community properly.”

Abrams notes that Library 2.0 gives students better options than ad-driven search databases like Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

The Boston Public Library was the first to implement city-wide, software called "School Rooms," a search database and interactive site for Boston schools. Abrams adds that although learning methods are changing, the goal stays the same.

“The goal is to raise standardized testing scores by having parallel learning happening so that the content is in context of children's needs, and that it's in context to the Massachusetts and national curriculum guidelines and standards.”

The BPL's "School Rooms" is online at bpl.schoolrooms.net/rooms/portal/page/Sirsi_HOME
The MLA conference blog online is at mlamasslib.blogspot.com/.

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA