Type your thoughts about the Role of the Librarian. Also rearrange comments as patterns emerge. Skip a line between posts. Put your initials at the end of your post. bb


For me, when trying to say what a thing is, sometimes it's easier to start by saying what it isn't. I know I don't want my role to be that of technology repair person. I don't want to be the web police, spending most of my time on spyware to make sure the students are not someplace they shouldn't be on the internet.I would like to be the one to help the students discover new books, technology, software, web sites. I already feel like this works both ways as the students help me discover new books, technology, and web sites. jm

I've always thought of myself as the "favorite aunt" - we are, in these test driven days often the only place that the kids have "fun".
We're the reading cheerleaders and we produce events and contests to help pull the school together. We're also the place for kids to discover new things (books, electronic toys, websites). We show the teachers new final products and try and wean everyone away from the "poster with pictures and pages d/l from the internet " projects. GM

Librarians essentially run a business. We manage a budget and spend our days ordering, processing, cataloging and repairing books, ordering supplies and AV equipment, checking out and troubleshooting AV equipment, withdrawing, “un-processing” and boxing up old books, reviewing books, reshelving books, sharing resources with other libraries, pulling books for classroom use, scheduling classes, teaching lessons, helping students find books, helping students with research, providing book talks, submitting GEEK tickets, managing students who come to the library, reading and responding to emails, meeting with book reps, answering phones, collaborating with colleagues, attending monthly library meetings, turning in monthly circulation statistics, printing and distributing overdue notices, setting up book fairs and various other programs and contests, working with the PTA, attending professional developments, providing training to teachers, conducting yearly inventory, updating our library websites, etc., etc., etc -- ALL without any employees! Not many minutes pass by without someone needing our assistance for something, and many of us don’t even take regular lunch breaks so we don’t have to close the library. We enable the library (the hub of the school) to run and function. And nothing frustrates me more than when people ask me why I have to have a master's degree to check books in and out -- or imply that I am goofing around on the computer all day. I believe the world views the job of a librarian as a clerical position, which is why so most districts have taken away the library assistant position and why some districts have considered replacing librarians with clerical people. This is the kind thinking we need to change. Ultimately we should be viewed as “information specialists,” which covers a broad spectrum. We have the wonderful responsibility of encouraging our students to develop a love of reading by making available the latest and greatest titles they’re interested in (and pushing them), we should know the best places to find the information a student or teacher is looking for, we should be familiar with the school curriculum so we can continuously meet the information needs of our students and teachers, we should teach others how to find accurate information on their own, and we should know the ins and outs of the various technologies that not only deliver this information to us, but that can be used to present what our students have learned. We need a clerical person to help with all the other stuff so we can be better information specialists! I don’t know if it is realistic (or if he’d be willing to do it), but I think it might be beneficial to invite Dr. Klussmann to spend a few days in various library settings to see what takes place. A random hour here or there wouldn’t be a good representation of all we do. (Exhale) :-[] CS