A.B. You mentioned "I addressed the issue of this blending of librarian and technologist way back in 1998 in a column called Librarians are from Venus; Technologists are from Mars" What issues are being debated now that weren't back in 1998? Are their other underlying issues you feel resonate with this topic? Has there been any change?
D.J. "An increasing number of people in both the library and technology fields have become what I described as Educator X in that 1998 column. Our "only book" or "only computer" people are retiring. (Over half of our library media specialists in my district are new since the column was written – and we have successfully hired Educator X types.) The stereotypes are the remaining "onlies."
The bigger rift I now hear about is between the IT side of education and the teaching side. Too often policies, budgets, plans etc. are made by IT folks coming in from the business world that don’t understand the culture and mission of teachers and librarians, and don’t work to get input from them when decisions are made. At the same time, educators may not be assertive enough to demand a voice at the table where tech decisions are made.
This problem is why the NETS Standards for Administrators are SO important right now. A good leader in a school, whether a superintendent, principal or director, should know enough about technology to help formulate good policy that respects both the security concerns of the IT folks and the access concerns of the teachers and librarians. This seems important enough to me now that I am offering a session at this summer’s NECC conference called "Ending the Range Wars" on how to make good technology policy through shared decision-making."