It’s still about information retrieval skills
Issue 3/13 of Kirjastolehti is a media education issue. Data acquisition skills are closely related to the basic functions of libraries, but they are also part of media education. Information Specialist Leena Elenius from the library of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences emphasizes the crucial role of attitude in developing information retrieval competence.
Technology must be experimented with open-mindedly, and young people’s own competences and peer-learning should also be utilized. Younger pupils receive a fair amount of guidance on library use and information retrieval, but at the secondary level the situation varies greatly depending on school and teacher.
Educational Librarian Mervi Hietanen writes about her experiences of practical cooperation with schools and the library. The location of the library and the school is significant. Educational institutions need instruction in information retrieval and technology. That is something worth investing in at the library.
The library is a form of media
Media education has become part of the operations of many libraries, even though its purpose and role are still being discussed and national guidelines are only now being created. Media education is already visible in library job titles, for example. Today you can find a media specialist (‘mediaohjaaja’ in Finnish) at the library. The Lahti City Library – Regional Library has recently hired three such specialists to support library users.
Music departments to become media departments?
In the 2025 scenario of sociomusicologist Simon Frith, the music world consists of three sections: dance music, the star-making industry, and art music. The library can serve as a link between these realms: the high and the low, the young and adults, the physical and the virtual. Here we have a new core mission for all library units involved with music.
The media education project of the Finnish Library Association
Mika Mustikkamäki, leader of the Finnish Library Association’s media education project, considers public libraries to be among the major agents within the field of media education.
“Library professionals themselves often tend to minimize the library’s role as a media educator, highlighting the responsibility of the home and the school for child and youth activities. When they downplay this role, however, they forget the role of the library as a service provider for the entire population – as a ‘third space’ somewhere between, for instance, homes, schools and workplaces ”, Mika Mustikkamäki points out.
Sinikka Sipilä appointed president of IFLA
Secretary General of the Finnish Library Association Sinikka Sipilä was appointed president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in August 2013. For the next two years, she will be the voice of the world’s libraries among political leaders and library decision-makers from different cultures. Sinikka Sipilä’s presidential theme is Strong Libraries, Strong Societies.
”Right now, the discussions and decisions concern important issues, such as how to apply copyrights in an electronic world and how to promote freedom of speech. The statements are created within the Governing Board and organs of IFLA, and the president complies with the federation’s policies”, Sinikka Sipilä says.