Mamta Amarpuri, Darshan Academy, New Delhi
Expert View

Role Of School Librarians During Pandemic Covid-19

By Ms. Mamta Amarpuri, Darshan Academy, New Delhi

The globalization of education has spread the importance of imparting quality education to the students And it has become the objective of every educational organisation. An educational set-up can achieve this objective if it has a strong library set up within the organisation. A library is said as the hub of all the activities of a school. During the Pandemic COVID-19,  the schools are closed keeping in view the health and safety measure of the students. Cororna Pandemic has affected the functioning of school libraries  also. The students have been taking their online classes and maintaining a virtual contact with their teachers from last year. But the students have lost their interaction with their librarians. They are not coming to school so they are not getting opportunity to access books physically.

In our country, there are very less number of schools which have digitized their libraries and providing the facility of accessing E-books and other resources. There are many schools providing online classes to the students to cope with their curriculum but the students need to browse information or collect subject knowledge through various books or e-resources. Now here comes the role of librarians, he/she is the right person who knows clearly to use authenticate e-resources, to guide the students and teachers to use appropriate search engines/ websites for retrieving correct and desired information.  For using correct e-resources, librarians are the right persons to guide the students and teachers.

A School Librarian in new environment –

  • Better Communication with the users – The librarians were generally engaged with the students and teachers within the school premises. Due to Pandemic, now librarians can establish a healthy relationship with the parents also. They can develop connectivity with the parents community also to know the interest for reading in their children.
  • Foster a love for reading with new technologies– A librarian may develop a foster of love for reading books with the use of new A/V technologies. The schools may use the current technologies to create interest of accessing reading resources and encourage the students and teachers to use them for teaching – learning process.
  • Reshaping school libraries – The school libraries need to adopt new technologies to provide reading and accessing facilities to the students and staff. Now, schools are handling the  challenges  which are being faced by the schools nowadays  and implementing new strategies for enforcing best online classes to the students. Therefore,  the schools should also consider the need of digitizing their libraries and introducing certain concepts of E-libraries.

The school Librarian has an important role in the society. She/He has been considered as the heart of school or educational set up. The school librarian plays five different roles as- an  Instructional Partner, Leader,  Teacher, Information Specialist and Program Administrator. All above mentioned roles highlight the professional skills of a librarian in building relationship and establishing a love for books among the users.

During Covid-19, the schools need the librarian to meet the needs of the users in this rapid changing learning atmosphere of the schools. The schools have assigned other unaligned tasks to the librarians whereas the librarians may focus on spreading reading awareness among the students and teachers with her professional experience.

A librarian should also be given the opportunity to  carry her work using three general models-

  • Face to face Learning
  • Blendid Learning
  • Distance Learning

The school librarian can make a proper planning using above models of learning and maintain her visibility in the organisation and society as an Instructional Partner, Leader, Teacher, Specialist and Progam Administrator under this critical situation in the world.

Learning Challenges during Pandemic Covid-19-

  1. Face to Face Learning

Challenge – Face to Face Learning needs to ensure about the physical contact of the users. This include the fulfillment of Covid-19 guidelines laid down by the government of the country, i.e. ensure social distancing, reduced user’s movement, cleaning and sanitizing the libraries. The physical reading resources can be transformed into other mode of resources.

Opportunities – Online reading session, reading activities, story telling sessions  can be enforced to overcome Face to Face Learning challenge. The students can use the E- resources as and when required and whenever they are free.

  1. Blendid Learning –

Challenge – The Blendid Learning Atmosphere have been introduced by the schools during Covid-19. Some of the schools have been using ONLINE mode of learning and OFFLINE (for classes IX to XII) as well. The schools have tried to give a blendid learning environment to the students which is an inclusion of ONLINE and Face to Face Learning also.

Opportunities – Above Blendid learning has allowed the users to adopt any learning method as per one’s convenience. As it helped the students to learn from home during lockdown in the country. Here, a librarian can play the role of Instructional Partner by disseminating right information to the right user.

  1. Distance Learning

Challenge – Distance learning allows the users to learn completely from home by avoiding physical contact  with anyone. The user can not access the reading resources physically and face the problem of lacking of knowledge about their subjects.

Opportunities– In Distance Learning, a students feel lack of resources to be used by him. This problem can be resolved by the librarian to enact as the Specialist and Instructional Partner by locating correct information for the users and disseminating it to the right users.

RECOMMENDED ROLE OF SCHOOL LIBRARIAN : AN INSTRUCTIONAL PARTNER

During Covid-19 Pandemic drastic situation across the world, the schools are closed and children are not allowed to leave their homes. The children and teachers are facing new learning conditions and they feel an increased burden and stress for the new learning situations. The children are bound to earn their education from home through ONLINE mode and the teachers are also trying to accommodate in new teaching learning environment. The School librarians can support the teachers and students community by providing them-

  • Face to Face Learning-

Offering samples of projects and support materials which may help the teachers for face to face and distance learning.

Providing Social Emotional Learning resources to the teachers who are facing stress level which help them to support self-care and enforcing better teaching-learning  process.

  • Blendid Learning

Providing readily available E- resources  to the teachers  for deploying them in their classes  ONLINE or OFFLINE.

  • Distance Learning

Orientation and assisting teachers to use E-resources, weblinks for carrying out their teaching uninterruptedly with the collaboration of School Librarian.

The students can also be given orientation about  some of new E-resources which may help them to gain knowledge and meet their academic need.

We can see that school librarians provide a great support to the students and teachers. They have been working as a backbone of the education system and providing direct assistance to teachers while ensuring that impartial  access can be  maintained.

Related posts

Six Essential Business Skills Employers Want Post – COVID

Importance of Anger Management in the Era of Virtual Learning

LEARNING DURING COVID TIMES

admin