When Dr. Lucy Santos Green and I were first approached about guest-editing this issue we had a very long conversation about what “Beyond the Horizon” meant to us. Were we looking at future-casting technology trends? Were we going to focus on where libraries in America currently stand and how they might move forward? What did we see beyond the horizon for American school libraries? We quickly realized that we were on the same page with our interpretation. We both wanted to focus on where the library fits into the educational ecosystem and how to remain relevant as that system shifts and grows with new technologies, new methodologies of education, and new generations of students passing through our doors.
We also knew that we wanted to pull in diverse voices from both within our profession as well as those orbiting on its edges. We reached out to teachers, parents, professors, library leaders, and experts on media literacy and bias. We asked them to think about the relevance and vitality of school libraries, and the eye-opening responses we got are represented in this issue. Rachel Altobelli, a Lilead Fellow and Director of Library Services and Instructional Materials at Albuquerque Public Schools, discusses the importance of stepping outside of our privilege and comfort zones to ensure that the library collection and experience is truly inclusive and culturally responsive. Dr. Renee Hobbs, Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Rhode Island, writes about conspiracy theories and fake news and challenges us to face these misinformation sources head-on with our students rather than dismissing them outright. Dr. Dustin Dooly, a classroom teacher and mother of a transracial family, makes a compelling argument for school librarians to develop programs that equip students to live multidimensional lives, recognizing perspectives, perceptions, and experiences beyond their (and our) own realities. Dr. Phillip Wilder, Assistant Professor of Adolescent Literacy at Clemson University, argues passionately for the recognition of literacy as a social and cultural practice by pointing out that the more narrow our definition of literacy, the more students we inadvertently ostracize. His call to broaden our definition and recognition of literacy asks us to think differently as educators and librarians. Finally, James Allen, a K-12 school librarian in Eminence, Kentucky, tells us about what is possible in a school library that changes gradually and organically to meet the evolving needs of its user population with an inspirational story of a little library that “could.”
Lucy and I hope you will find inspiration in this issue, but we also hope that you will allow yourself to be challenged. Allow yourself to think differently. Have the courage to carefully examine your current practice and where you want to be “Beyond the Horizon.”
About the Guest Editors
Lucy Santos Green is an associate professor of library and information science at the University of South Carolina. She is past president of the School Media Technology Division for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, former chair of AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee, and current chair-elect for the Educators of School Librarians Section of AASL. Her latest book, The Flipped College Classroom: Conceptualized and Re-Conceptualized (2017), is available through Springer Publications, and her recent paper written with Stephanie A. Jones and Panne Andrea Burke, “School Librarians Fully Online: Preparing the Twenty-First Century Professional” (2017), can be accessed through AASL’s online journal School Library Research. A member of ALA, International Association of School Librarianship, and Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Lucy frequently researches and publishes on global school librarianship, school librarians in digital learning environments, and instructional partnerships between school librarians and other education professionals. Reach out to her on Twitter at @lucysantosgreen.
Susan Grigsby is the interim teacher-librarian at the United World College of Southeast Asia in Singapore K–12 school libraries. She is a member of AASL and currently serves on the Knowledge Quest Editorial Board and AASL Leadership Development Committee. She is also the professional development chair and past president for the Georgia Library Media Association. She was named a Lilead Fellow for 2015–2016. She is the author of the forthcoming article “Take the Lead” in School Library Journal. She curates articles of interest to school librarians at K–12 School Libraries, available at www.scoop.it/t/k-12-school-libraries. Reach out to her on Twitter at @sksgrigsby.
Read their Guest Editor Column, “Beyond the Horizon: Perspectives That Inform Our Professional Future.”
Knowledge Quest, Volume 46, No. 1 – Beyond the Horizon
Creating Space for Agency
Teach the Conspiracies
Living and Learning beyond One Dimension
Dustin L. Dooly
Supporting Adolescent Literacy Requires a Focus on Literacy Practices in a Local Context
Phillip M. Wilder
On the Horizon: New Standards to Dawn at AASL 2017
Marcia A. Mardis, Chair, AASL Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board
Universal Design for Learning and School Libraries: A Logical Partnership
David E. Robinson
Coloring beyond the Lines
School Libraries–Time Capsules or Time Travelers?
Guest Editors’ Column
Beyond the Horizon: Perspectives That Inform Our Professional Future
Lucy Santos Green and Susan Grigsby
Author: Susan Grigsby
Categories: KQ Content
I enjoyed the article “Teach the Conspiracies”(Sept/Oct Knowledge Quest). In a similar vein, I’ve taught an “Unsolved Mysteries” unit for many years. Students examine such phenomena as: bigfoot, crop circles, sponaneous combustion, telekinesis, and more. Students examine both credible and dubious sources in trying to prove or disprove the existence of their chosen topic or person. They sharpen their powers of discernment, learn to build cogent arguments, and enjoy the sensational topics. I will consider adding the broader option of ‘conspiracies’ on my next research go-round.