Sunday, March 31, 2013

Valenza's Never Ending Work: Scholarship and Research

The evolving role of the teacher-librarian is one focus of Valenza's scholarship.

Joyce Valenza's contributions to the field of School Librarianship are many and varied.  In terms of research and scholarship, she identifies her current research interests as:

Virtual libraries as digital/mobile learning spaces, Evolving role of the teacher-librarian, Transliteracy and youth, Digital collection curation, Digital storytelling,Youth information-seeking behavior, Youth and technology, Youth and social networking, Online learning, Information fluency, Database use, Searching skills, Web 2.0/3.0, Library 2.0/3.0, Global literacy, Youth services.  (From:  Joyce Valenza - Curriculum Vitae).

Valenza is best known for her research and writing in the following areas:

School Website Evaluation

Valenza's doctoral dissertation, Discovering a Descriptive Taxonomy of Attributes of Exemplary School LIbrary Websites, (University of North Texas, 2007), examined the taxonomies and characteristics of exemplary school websites and established her as an expert in website evaluation.  She is now regarded as an expert in the evaluation of any and all education technology tools. 

Ed Tech Tools and Trends
Through her blog, The NeverEndingSearch, and her other written work, Valenza shares her experiences as an insatiable explorer and reviewer of Web 2.0/3.0 tools.  Teacher-librarians value her expert opinion and look to her for guidance when incorporating these tools into their instructional practice. She also identifies technology trends and their implications for school libraries and librarians.  For example, a recent trend she has explored is digital content curation.

The Evolving Role of Teacher-Librarians
Much of Valenza's writing explores the evolution of the teacher-librarian's role and the "essential" and "non-negotiable" practices that teacher-librarians must embrace to remain current in their practice and be effective educators in 21st Century schools.  One of her best-known writings is her Manifesto for 21st Century Librarians, published in 2010.  The Manifesto lists practices, beliefs, attititudes, and skills that 21st Century teacher-librarians should either adopt or "unlearn" in areas such as reading, collection development, equity, collaboration, information ethics, new technology, professional development, and teaching and learning. 

What's Next for Valenza?

In the following conversation with Dr. Ross Todd, Valenza discusses the research interests she plans to explore when she joins the faculty of the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information in 2014.

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