Monday, November 14, 2011


So the purpose of a blog is to share ideas--both professional and personal--and today I need to vent some personal anger. I wasn't around school one day last week and my boss brought a community member by to see the library. My principal asked my assistant to explain to our community member what we did in the library since "books are dying out." WHAT???

And of course, I wasn't there to defend my job, my profession and my passion. The first question I would have asked him was if he ever even looked at the circ reports I send every six weeks. The first six weeks this year we checked out 900 more books than the first six weeks last year. 900!!! Doesn't seem like books are dying out to me.

Granted, most of our research takes place digitally now. I'm teaching a series of lessons to some freshmen about the digital resources we have available. Some of our resources are databases and some are online BOOKS!!! Again, doesn't look like books are dying out.

And the other comment that really irritated me was that kids were using "Kindles and those kinds of things." Excuse me? Has anyone looked at our student population? We are not a wealthy school, and I don't see too many students using Kindles, Nooks or any ereader device. Phones yes--ereaders no. Ask any librarian about the current ereader issues--those devices are made for libraries to use easily and we are trying to figure out which way to go. But with our limited funding these days, we can't afford to make a mistake so it's worth the time to investigate. And therefore, the public perception is we are out of date and useless since we only have books......sigh.....

I tell people over and over again--the stories will be there; it's the delivery medium that's changing. We're in the midst of as big of a change these days as in the days of the printing press. Some people believed it would signal the end of mankind as we know it. And we survived. As we will survive the digital age. Even after things settle in and a standard of digital writing is set, books will still be around--and must be interesting to hold our attention.

I can tell I'm angry about this topic--I'm rambling. But it's very disheartening to feel like your boss doesn't support-- or even care-- about your job and how librarians can help students. I know what I can do and I spread the word as much as I can through reports, stories and collaboration with teachers. But I'm at a dead end now.

What else can I do to share what I can do as a teacher librarian to help our students?

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