The role of school libraries in a digitized world – Indonesia Expat

Jakarta Intercultural School emphasizes importance of media and information literacy

Libraries are often described as the heart of a school, having served for centuries as a literary refuge, as well as a research center. But with the advent of the digital age putting a seemingly endless wealth of information at your fingertips, the relevance of libraries is being called into question.

I remember asking myself this question 10, 15 years ago,Says Matt Schaeffer, the senior middle and high school librarian at Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS). “Why do we need libraries when all the information in the world is in our pockets, phones and laptops? “

While the internet has made it possible for students to study and learn from the greatest minds, texts, universities and museums, he adds, it has also pushed them into an unorganized world of misleading information, prejudice and opinions valued in relation to the facts. The results can be damaging to a generation already overwhelmed by the vastness of the World Wide Web, meaning that libraries and librarians are needed more than ever to step in and provide qualified advice in the search for knowledge through education. to the media.

JIS elementary to high school libraries contain over 100,000 combined titles.

A key element of 21st century learning, media education is defined by UNESCO as “set of skills, attitudes and competencies“which ensures the ethical use of news and media products, providing means to critically search, analyze, use and disseminate” content wisely, both online and offline. “

Let the students loose on the [internet] and telling them to “do research” is like letting them go in the Wild West,», Explains Schaeffer. “[The modern library] is all about media education and today’s students need to be well versed in the language of multimedia.

When students come to a library, he adds, they can expect to find support and materials that prioritize their learning needs, all in a safe space designed to uphold the values ​​of freedom. intellectual, educational and social responsibility.

Schools around the world – from elementary to universities and colleges – are using the digital revolution to overhaul their libraries, turning them into comprehensive information centers that are above all objective and reliable. They are dynamic and innovative, using literature and technology to bring communities together.

The modern school library teaches students to be responsible users of technology, to conduct focused research and to use their critical thinking skills to remain objective while analyzing information from credible sources,Says Maya Nelson, Acting Principal of JIS School. “This is especially crucial at a time when disinformation is rampant on the internet, especially on social media platforms. “

TO JIS, students, teachers and even parents have access to four expansive libraries on its three campuses: one at Pattimura Elementary (PEL) and Pondok Indah Elementary (PIE) and two on the Cilandak campus for JIS colleges and high schools.

JIS Library
JIS elementary to high school libraries contain over 100,000 combined titles.

Each is equipped with a diverse selection of fiction books for the casual reader and the most ardent bookworm, as well as state-of-the-art facilities available for various research methods and presentations.

JIS High School, meanwhile, recently celebrated the reopening of its library after 22 months of extensive renovations. The high school’s new community library is now a modern two-story building with both green features and state-of-the-art facilities. The first floor, with an area of ​​2,457 square meters, includes multipurpose rooms, a cafeteria, a student lounge, an IT help desk, a central atrium overlooking a skylight, as well as an auditorium that can accommodate 251 people. . Measuring 1,854 m², the second floor houses thousands of book titles (fiction and non-fiction), a gallery, two collaboration rooms, a silent study center and a mini theater.

Yes, the high school community library was designed to fully support our students in developing their media literacy skills. However, it also aims to bring the JIS community together with a bright and welcoming space that encourages discussion and expression.“Nelson says.” The need for quality education and learning in the 21st century persists, but as the last year and a half showed us, communities are stronger together. Our new library is a wonderful way for JIS to stand up for all of these values.

For Schaeffer, the building is a cohesive blend of all the best features of a traditional library and a state-of-the-art research center.

“We designed it to be a wonderful space for students to snuggle up with a book, […] where everyone can sit and work in silence, and where people can get together and talk about cool things, ”he says. “I can’t wait for the whole community to see and celebrate this wonderful space.. “

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