Starting this fall, I will be teaching in the Masters program at the Rutgers Library and Information Science program. In fall, just one class — materials for children; in spring both children and teenagers. At the same time I will be working with Rutgers to try to create a lab where we figure out good models for how youth service libraries should use the new ebook and other digital tools. I will continue to write and edit books, give talks, write this blog. But teaching will become an ever-larger focus. Why? Well I like both the research and the exchange that goes into teaching. Whenever I visit a school someone will ask, “do you teach?” So in one way I am getting to exercise a muscle that I’ve always known I had, but have not trained. In another, being planted in an academic environment seems right to me just now when so much change in publishing is being mandated by technology. I don’t like the sense that devices are determining — or at least strongly influencing — decisions on content. I want to create a place outside of the hustle and bustle of the moment where every stakeholder — teachers, librarians, authors, publishers, educational technologists, game creators — can create models for how best to use the new options, and then test them with real young people. That seems like the responsible thing to do right now — step aside and make sense of this moment, rather than just be swamped by it, or rushing to profit from it.
So that’s the plan. Right now, preparing for class I am catching up on my reading. Any suggestions? Favorite books you think librarians who work with young people really need to know about?