School libraries are changing with the introduction many new features. Libraries are no longer places where students read books quietly. Students must not only be able to read and write, but also to research information and work independently. (Wade, 2005) Even in early primary education there is a need to include digital resources in the curriculum. In an ever expanding digital universe (in 2010 the quantity of information transmitted globally exceeded one zettabyte (Ojala, 2013)), information literacy skills and competence with digital tools is a must. People who lack these skills will face barriers to inclusion in a growing range of areas. (Ojala, 2013) Digital resources can include internet sites, databases, Web 2.0 technologies, interactive learning technologies and eBooks.
Most students do have access to the internet at home and many even have multiple platforms, such as desktop computers, tablet devices and mobile devices. Parents see the value in using digital resources as most will use them for their work. Dealing with primary-aged students it seems unlikely the school will bring in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. Before they do this, there are some considerations to be made:
- Will staff have the correct training to use the new resources? How will borrowing be managed?
- How will multiple students be able to access the data at the same time? How can the school resources handle multiple users?
- If the school pays an online bulk purchase fee for the use of an encyclopaedia or television recording subscription, will they be limited from using other sources or will they forget to check against other resources?
Ojala, M. (2013) Riding the waves or caught in the tide. Information Today, Oct, 2013, Vol.30(9), p.1(2)
Wade, C. (2005) The school library : phoenix or dodo bird? Educational Horizons, 8(5), 12-14