One of the best ways libraries can support e-learning initiatives at their schools or villages is to be engaging critically with these practices in a reflective and relevant way. This, above all, means knowing school staff and students or villagers/visitors, and responding to their needs in meaningful and applicable ways. At some schools or villages, the library might be the touch point for digital technology and e-learning training, while at others this may fall to a different department or organisation. Some schools may have a variety of platforms to support e-learning initiatives, while some are exclusive to only one. Resources and budgets are always a discussion point when introducing or continuing library programs, and e-learning initiatives could be dealing with those same concerns.
It is responsibility of library professionals to respond to these considerations in a critical and thoughtful manner that best reflects their organization, their goals, and their roles within the school or village. Understanding the need for early adoption, the ongoing
challenges of new technology, and emerging trends in e-learning platforms means they are able to help support these initiatives, both contextually in the broader scope of e-learning needs, and specifically for the platform(s) at their individual schools or villages.
It’s imperative that libraries remain aware and engaged with the changing digital needs of their staff and students, and respond in practical, applicable, and reflective ways.
The two key words to be touched here are “critical” and “reflective”. Too often technology decisions are made because there is a sense that the organization will be left behind if it doesn’t embrace the latest new, new thing. Technology decisions
need to be evidence-based and driven by the needs of faculty, students or visitors. Library staff can help provide a critical and reflective analysis of new technology developments and temper some of the techno-utopic frenzy that can otherwise drive decision-making.