Saturday, March 6, 2010

Petitions make everything better.

This is about the 21st "Century Library Information & Technology" centers.

The CLIT Center? Right off, I'm not crazy about that title. But it's what I got from abbreviating this new "viral" library movement for "21st Century Library Information & Technology" centers. It's from an open letter written by a mom who forgot to ask librarians which words she should keep very far apart when naming her movement. Maybe she needs to watch the "Jingleheimer Junction" SNL skit again to learn why Katie "Kindness," Carla "Caring," and Umberto "Unity" should think twice about adding a new member to their club.

[if it hangs up, download it from here.]

The online petition is here. I'm guessing this site was created for regular people to post their wants and for all of us to "tweet" our support until a massive grassroots movement forms and gets a response from the target. It's basically a letter to President Obama asking for stuff. I'm just not sure what this stuff is. For example:

"Dear President Obama & staff:
Please ensure that any revision to American education policy converts existing school libraries to 21st Century Library Information & Technology centers, led by a certified teacher-librarian trained in technology integration."

Yeah, I don't know what that means. I don't know what a "teacher-librarian" is, but I think it might involve cloning or transmogrification or major organ transplantation. Either way, I hope the new creature gets to keep the "sexy parts" from the teacher, especially if she looks anything like my 3rd grade teacher, Miss Simpson. And "technology integration" sounds like we're talking about The Borg.

"Every American child should receive a virtual portfolio space (along with a desk on their first day of school). The portfolio would not only serve to archive their work and prepare them for college admissions/employment, it could prove to be an incredibly insightful safety net to catch children that are struggling."
Again, whoosh, right over my head with this. Kids would get "virtual portfolio space" that tracks everything they do from the first day of school to the last? From age 6 to age 18, schools will track their every assignment, grade and disciplinary action? Talk about something "going on your permanent record."

"More robust and equitable funding for educational technology is necessary along with an investment in professional development that equips administrators,
teachers and librarians to master emerging technologies."
No idea. But they use the word "robust" so it's got to mean something good.

"A 21st Century Library Information & Technology Center would support all literacies, classical and emerging."
Please explain what emerging literacy is. Is that like functional literacy? Is it like complete illiteracy? Or is it that texting shorthand crap that no one should know?

I think people mean well when they make these petitions, but then they overreach and include terms like "emerging technologies." I don't even know what "emerging technology" is. Is this new technology that's still in its infancy? Is it an Alien "facehugger" emerging to lay its egg in my stomach? It's like those commercials for some pill which say, "emerging science suggests" that blah blah will blah your blah.

If it's only still emerging, don't bother to name it until it's born. I like the name Tito.