Saturday, 9 June 2012

Breaking barriers (Day 5 #blogjune)

Two weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend ILT2012, an excellent conference on inclusive learning technologies for struggling students.  While the conference appears to have its roots in the teaching sector, I think libraries have a huge role to play here and can offer many valuable contributions via papers and presentations.  That this is an unusual consideration was evident on many levels:
a)      The assumption that I was from a school “Hi, I’m [name].  Which school are you from?”
b)      The continued assumption that I was from a school when I said I was a librarian “Oh that’s great; which school again?”
c)       The absolute total incredulity when I would answer that I was from a public library “Oh I HEARD about you! [name] this is the librarian from Melbourne that [name] was telling us about.”
The reactions were quietly amusing and the overall support for what public libraries are doing for the community was very heartening.  Everyone I spoke to was encouraging and impressed, seeing the role public libraries had to play.  What was less encouraging was the lack of knowledge of what public libraries are, and have been,  doing in the community for years.
This lack of knowledge is from educated professionals in a field that supports research and learning.  Why are we not out there breaking barriers and making ourselves known to others?

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