One of the unexpected surprises of Future Ready Librarians initiative has been the amazing virality of #futurereadylibs and the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page. Both librarians and educational leaders have embraced the idea of future-focused school libraries. What began as a small extension of the work of the Alliance for Excellent Education has become a ‘thing.’ #thatscool
An example of this is the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page developed by Kristen Mattson. Inspired to ‘lead beyond the library,’ Kristen created a page that now has over 7,000 users. Some have joined because of their interest in the Future Ready Librarians Framework while others are interested in a dynamic social network of school librarians. And in this context, Future Ready means different things to different people.
At the Alliance, Future Ready represents a framework and process for schools to personalize learning for all students through digital transformation. In many districts, the phrase ‘future ready’ is also used more generically to represent innovative thinking, practices and programs to ensure students are successful in school and beyond. As part of the broader Future Ready initiative, Future Ready Librarians is about connecting librarians to the strategic work of schools and districts through research-based components of innovation.
As librarians seek to build and sustain their future readiness, they need different supports. Our work at the Alliance will be to promote and iterate both the Future Ready Librarians Framework and resources to help connect librarians to the essential work of schools. We also appreciate the need to develop formal and informal networks among librarians and district leaders to support professional practice and learning. Thanks to Kristin, the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page provides another means for librarians to learn and collaborate with one another.
Because every library, school and district is unique and defines future ready in different ways, it is exciting and essential that Future Ready Librarians has developed a life of its own. The Future Ready Librarians Framework has been lovingly hacked, remixed and reimagined. Social media has embraced #futurereadylibs and new communities of practice have emerged. Thanks to the Alliance and engaged educators, the conversations about libraries are changing.
To that end, we would like to cultivate additional conversations on social media to foster strategic, innovative and provocative thinking among librarians.
Also, on Monday, June 19 Kristen Mattson, myself and other Future Ready Librarian leaders will be launching a Summer Deep Dive into the Future Ready Librarians Framework on Facebook. We will post a daily question Monday-Friday in the Future Ready Librarians Facebook Group kicking it off with questions focused around Empowering Students As Creators. We would love for you to be part of this conversation by responding to the questions too.
That’s what great librarians do.