Monday, April 9, 2012

National Library Week

This is National Library Week.  And to celebrate this week, I'm going to highlight some of my library "heroes"--librarians I admire for their dedication to our field.  Today I would like to share an article from The Unquiet Library--a blog by Buffy Hamilton.  She is an outstanding leader in the world of school librarianship and her blog posting is entitled "Do I really have to leave the role of school librarian to do the work of a school librarian?"

She discusses an article in the current issue of School Library Journal about a librarian who leaves the library to becomes a technology coordinator. The author of the SLJ article wonders if this is what we librarians will need to do in order to insure our future survival.  As Buffy states, 
                   We’ve wondered about the future of the profession and the challenges of becoming more immersed as an instructional leader and pedagogy specialist in a current model of school librarianship that is physically limiting in the sense that one person, two at best in most places, is expected to excel in multiple roles for student populations that might vary from 850 to 2500 students and up to 100+ faculty in a building.

But is turning into something else the answer?  Why can't we be proud of our job as librarians?

           I respectfully disagree with Linda Braun that the future of school librarianship is to walk away from our title and to try and do the same or similar work under a different title.

And while this may not be the best response to the article, the doubts and worries I have for the future are reflected in her article so I know I'm not alone. Seems like all across the country schools are facing the same issues--too much testing, not enough budget--and libraries and librarians are ending up near the bottom of the list of priorities. 

 I just need to keep the faith--

           in my heart I  still believe in the possibilities of libraries and school librarians–but those will never come to fruition if we acquiesce and abandon the effort to elevate the library as a site of participatory culture and a cornerstone of every child’s learning experience in schools, as a partner who can support our teachers by being embedded as part of the team to give every child positive, constructive, and meaningful learning experiences...

Read her article.  She is much more eloquent and professional than I could ever hope to be. 

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