Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills
This document, from the United States’ Institute of Museum and Library Services (“the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas”) provides important information about helping library users develop 21st century skills.
Although primarily developed for public libraries, there is much that can be transferred to school libraries. The website explains:
The Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills initiative underscores the critical role our nation’s museums and libraries play in helping citizens build such 21st century skills as information, communications and technology literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, civic literacy, and global awareness.
And the following items seem to be exactly what many schools need to address:
Envision the library/museum’s role in providing lifelong learning experiences, specifically around 21st century skills; Inventory the 21st century skills and practices currently in use by the library/museum; Identify goals for future operation and program improvements; Build awareness among policymakers and the public about the unique value these institutions provide to the nation’s learning systems.
A notable point from the document applies to all schools:
The need to enhance 21st century skills is a compelling national imperative. Built on a foundation of deep content mastery, these skills are the new workforce requirements for maintaining U.S. global competitiveness and ensuring each person’s personal and professional success.
If you are addressing, or wanting your school to address the development of 21st century skills, this document is a good starting point.