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NeverendingSearch: Join me in leading from the center

Welcome to my new blog. What I hope to bring to this space is a discussion of current practice and professional growth and the strategies I continue to discover that make library an exciting place to learn and to be.

When I think library, I think hybrid space. I meet my students as much online (through our website, wikis, blogs, and learning activities) as I do face to face.

Here are some questions I imagine you are asking though I cannot hear you very well, yet.

Who am I?
I’ve been a practicing school librarian for nearly 18 years. I was a public librarian for around 10 years, and a special librarian before that. I am an edtech writer, a researcher, and a serious conference junkie.

I live just outside of Philadelphia with a patient and adorable husband. I have two nearly grown children, one of whom is also a blogger and Ning developer.

What is my blogging perspective?
My perspective is a bit secondary. I lean towards the geeky. I think about theory.  I live practice. I believe that librarians need to be the center of the information and learning landscapes their school cultures. I see opportunities, not barriers. 
(And I love manifestos!)

What do I read?
My full blog roll is listed here. I read everything I can on the thoughtful use of technology in learning. I just finished The Book Thief, The Road, and American Born Chinese; I am reading My Sister’s Keeper.  A Thousand Splendid Suns is on my night table.

What drives my blogging, or perhaps, why should you bother reading this blog? (There are, after all 85.6 million others according to Technorati’s last count.)

Friends, at this moment in time, we decide either to lead or get out of the way. And I believe–and I believe this with a passion–we can lead from the center. First, we need to negotiate, understand and articulate what it means to be a teacher-librarian in 2007. And we need to explore what it will mean to be a teacher-librarian in 2020.

If you didn’t notice it, (and how could you not notice it?), the entire information landscape shifted in the past two years. How do we define our roles in school buildings equipped with reading specialists and tech integrators and one-to-one laptob labs and carts? How do we develop meaningful learning activities and pedagogy that incorporate tools that emerge and shift each time we blink? Which of these tools are worth using? How do we engage learners who prefer live and learn digitally? What does it mean to be information fluent in a Web 2.0 world?

We inhabit an exciting and beautiful ICT chaos. We can help teachers teach in it. We can help learners learn in it. My blog is an attempt to negotiate change and understand how to best teach and learn and be a librarian in the 21st century.

Join me. Let’s explore possibilities together. Suggest posts. Comment. Applaud occasionally. Kvetch kindly. Help make this blog organic and dynamic.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Diane Chen says:

    Welcome! I’m so excited you are blogging for SLJ. You practice what you preach and lead by doing. This is an exciting time to be a librarian if we are willing to step out and lead.

  2. Brian Kenney says:

    Hey Joyce! What a pleasant surprise to find you here. I had almost given up hope you’d ever make it! OK, now I have to go blog myself…

  3. Tracy Poelzer says:

    Joyce, you are one busy lady with two blogs on the go! SLJ is smart to have you blogging for them. Your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions are always smart, current, and bang-on the money!

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