Do I Really Have to Leave the Role of School Librarian?

Do I Really Have to Leave the Role of School Librarian To Do the Work of a School Librarian? | The Unquiet Librarian

via Do I Really Have to Leave the Role of School Librarian To Do the Work of a School Librarian? | The Unquiet Librarian.

Thanks to strong progressive teacher-librarians from the past and from our current staffing, we have tried hard to develop and secure instructional services and nurture participation and collaboration for my large (1800 gr10-12) high school.  We have become a valid vibrant learning commons that students, teachers and admin all support but we have a culture to build on that made the library program important. We have 1.6 TL and 1.0 Clerical and ongoing budgeting and engagement but the landscape of the school library is changing so fast we cannot keep pace. Policy, pedagogy , demographics and much more have changed beyond our ability to lead. We do our best and we are strong but change outstrips our abilities and energies.  Therefore, when I read in SLJ the role as technology coordinator I rather snickered with cynical zest because that is a role I have evolved into from the start. We are the technology, information AND pedagogy hub. That said, we are given less influence and participation in the policy making and decision-making than we once had. As the demands and needs changed we responded but now the system is too fast and too top heavy to truly DESIGN  process or practice.  We have become a digital triage center. The irony is that our community still SEES us as a content place. We have not reduced or slashed any sector of our school library anatomy but rather have tried to cope by adding on more limbs and bionic parts. Like HAL we may be losing our sanity. thanks BJH, Al Smith

@buffyjhamilton writes…

“…The new issue of School Library Journal features a cover story called, “Next Year’s Model: Sarah Ludwig left the library, became a tech coordinator, and forged a path to the future.”  Unless I have misinterpreted the article, author Linda Braun wonders if school librarians have to leave the library and take on a completely different job title to do the work of a modern school librarian.  The thesis seems to be that school librarians taking on job titles other than school librarian, like “technology coordinator”, might be the future of the profession.  While I’ve  had my own misgivings about the future of  the profession, I respectfully disagree with Linda Braun and would argue that such a path will only lead to the demise, not the flowering, of our profession’s future.”…….”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; in some cases, school librarians are being asked to be a teacher, program administrator, information specialist, leader, and instructional partner with no planning period and no clerical assistance.

(unquietlibrarian)

This entry was posted in Education, Libraries, Teaching, Technology, theKSSlibrary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Do I Really Have to Leave the Role of School Librarian?

  1. Jeff says:

    Hi Al:
    Your comments “As the demands and needs changed we responded but now the system is too fast and too top heavy to truly DESIGN process or practice. We have become a digital triage center. The irony is that our community still SEES us as a content place. We have not reduced or slashed any sector of our school library anatomy but rather have tried to cope by adding on more limbs and bionic parts” resonate so strongly that you and Buffy are bang on: there’s something organic about the true essence of the role of a TL; I think of myself as more than a technology go-to-person; but I suppose what we see of ourselves and how our colleagues do are two different things.
    Part of me believes in the self-fulfilling prophecy; TLs are pedagogical and curricular leaders and I make sure that at the very least I have a seat at department head and school leadership table; I ensure that I have the ear of the AO. At the very least I have opportunities to collaborate with colleagues in working with their students, at the very worst I play a support role (a great deal of that is technology support), but it could be worse…

    Great thoughts! Thanks for sharing! JY

Comments are closed.