According to Joyce Valenza, librarians are needed more than ever to support student research and to prepare students for a lifetime of efficient and effective information use. She goes on to say the with students expecting to find most of their information on the Internet, it is logical that the 21st century school library website will play a big role. Today's school library will be expected to achieve its mission for learners both physically and virtually , expanding and reinterpreting reference and instructional services, meeting young users' information needs where they live and play and work...on the Web!
Kuhlthau (1997) stresses the importance of virtual libraries helping students internalize the process of learning from information. She feels that 'librarians play a critical role in creating environments that foster meaningful and lasting learning in digital libraries'. Kuhlthau encourages librarians to design virtual libraries where they can accomodate, guide, coach and overall support our students' learning.
Clyde (1997) sees the virtual library's prime purpose as being a means of delivering information skills which is essential.
According to Carol Grantham , Coordinator of Information Services at St Aloysius College in Adelaide, Australia, for the school library to be seen as relevant by students, the teacher librarian must embrace new technologies and offer students access to quality online resources that support the school curriculum. She states that this can best be achieved by a virtual library that meets the learning needs of students and teaches valuable information literacy skills which will enable them to become independent learners.
'If students are going to be effective seekers and users of information, they need two types of guidance: information skills critical for the 21st century; and customised, appropriate and well-designed online learning environments. Virtual libraries do the jobs on both fronts.'Joyce Valenza