Libraries and Change in education Systems.

Undoubtedly, there are profound changes going on in the educational system. These changes are needed because of ever growing pressure in the school systems themselves, partly because society itself is changing into one in which knowledge work becomes ever more important, and partly because of the information and communication technologies which are transforming our economies. Both of these factors evoke change and offer a solution to the problems with which the educational system struggles.

The adoption of more active learning styles in which students take more responsibility for their own learning goals and for the ways in which to realize these objectives. Active learning implies that students don't limit themselves to resources supplied by their instructors, but also that the students search for new materials themselves in order to solve problems at hand and to develop their competencies continuously.

To achieve this students in such a model are expected to go beyond the primary learning materials offered by teaching staff and are expected to explore independently other information sources as well.

Again, if more active learning styles become the norm, then one can foresee a role for librarians in the multi-disciplinary teams developing learning environments such as those mentioned above. Librarians can add links to the resources -- print and electronic -- available in their collections and on the web. They can explain how information resources in a particular subject field are organized and how students can find their way in subject areas that are relatively new to them.

This is simply sketching interesting challenges for librarians wishing to pursue a more active role in educational innovation. Even if there is no shared institutional vision on education, or encouragement from institutional management, there is no excuse for librarians to wait and see. It just implies that they have to find alternative routes.
Librarians have, and can develop further, unique skills to support educational innovation and they have the opportunity to act as role models within their institutions. After all, library work is knowledge work.
Librarianship is a profession not meant for dummies but for highly articulate and intelligent research oriented people. Our librarians should come out of traditional librarianship because both students and instructors depend on their wealth of knowledge and experience to excel in their chosen profession.