Teachers around the globe are looking for ways to prepare students for new living and working challenges of the 21st century. The innovative inquiry approach in education advocates for acquiring essential critical thinking, digital skills and understand rapid technological changes. IBL is becoming increasingly popular among teachers as it enable students to gain a deep understanding of a subject through a wide range of information sources (Kuhlthau, Maniotes & Caspari, 2007).
Digital librarians are teacher’s vital partners that foster this rich educational experiences. A common ground for our digital library work is the IB Library, a web portal that provides a FREE collection of IB PYP and IB EYP reflection journals; wonderfully engaging children’s eBooks carefully selected and aligned with the Programme of Inquiry. In addition, there is a wide range of workshops and events that foster different aspects of IB learning. The IB Library provides free teacher’s guides, which reflect elements of a cycle of inquiry:
MacLeod, a creator of inquiry guides for the digital library, says: “Guides, as I’ve created them, are suggestions, stepping stones, helpful bits of information to assist the teachers and students based on a learning philosophy. As you may know, with IB and Inquiry Education you want to give students freedom to guide the inquiry process and learn for themselves. These documents guide instead of simply telling to “do”, while providing the framework that IB and Inquiry Based education are based around.”
Currently, the IB Library provides a variety of tools, which help students and teachers solve problems within their own domains:
Cultural / Global Connect: Currently under rapid development, Global Connection web portal invites meaningful cultural connections with others into your classroom. No longer are classroom walls your barriers!
Student / School Journals: Unique IB PYP and IB EYP reflection journals are created by an experienced IB Primary Teacher with students and ease of classroom use in mind. Their reflection journals offer an unparalleled learning opportunity.
200+ Curated PYP Ebooks: All 200+ of their wonderfully engaging children’s eBooks have been carefully hand selected and aligned with the Programme of Inquiry by IB trained staff and teachers.
The IB Library Service Commitment: A global force for education. Using technology, and global partnerships, to facilitate learning.
Extensive Resources for Schools, Parents, Students: The IB Library features more than 1000 aligned and professionally IB curated ebooks with Ready to Go Lesson Plans.
Free for Deserving Students and Schools: The IB Library is committed to global education. If you live in Africa or a number of other challenged countries, they can help.
Analysis of the IB Library examples clearly identify following roles that digital libraries can play in education:
- as a resource for curriculum development,
- as a resource for learning, and
- as a resource for collaboration.
- No physical boundary. The user of a digital library need not to go to the library physically; people from all over the world can gain access to the same information, as long as an Internet connection is available.
- Round the clock availability A major advantage of digital libraries is that people can gain access 24/7 to the information.
- Multiple access. The same resources can be used simultaneously by a number of institutions and patrons.
- Information retrieval. The user is able to use any search term (word, phrase, title, name, subject) to search the entire collection. Digital libraries can provide very user-friendly interfaces, giving click able access to its resources.
- Preservation and conservation. Digitization is not a long-term preservation solution for physical collections, but does succeed in providing access copies for materials that would otherwise fall to degradation from repeated use.
- Space. Digital libraries have the potential to store much more information, simply because digital information requires very little physical space to contain them and media storage technologies are more affordable than ever before.
- Added value. Certain characteristics of objects, primarily the quality of images, may be improved. Digitization can enhance legibility and remove visible flaws such as stains and discoloration.
- Easily accessible.