Being a media specialist these days is no easy job. Just look at what we have to deal with: budget cutbacks; reduced staffing, or, in some states, no paraprofessional help at all; teaching rotation classes to provide planning time or simply to fill in for teachers; increasing our knowledge of technology to manage the increasing numbers of computers in our media centers; and even layoffs of media specialists in some districts--or at least failure to fill vacancies.
So, what can we expect in the year ahead? Unfortunately in most states, more of the same inauspicious mix of reductions in human and financial resources coupled with increases in the services and duties that are expected of us. ...
And what will the future hold for media centers technologically? Plenty of money to replace old and worn-out equipment? Probably not. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that technology evolves at an ever-increasing pace, meaning equipment can almost become obsolete by the time it is purchased.
Therefore, being budget conscious but also having a 5-year integrated media/technology plan that reflects how you want your media center to function over a period of time is vitally important. Consider the current dilemma of videocassettes and DVDs. Replacing those videocassette tapes can be expensive, and by the time you've converted all those tapes to DVDs, the material you're replacing may be outdated.
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