‘School Librarians’ and Libraries – Seeking Relevance & a Future?

As we are about to commence our first session of study for 2010, I thought I should get the ball rolling with some new posts. I look forward to sharing another year with my fellow blogger, Roy Crotty and our School of Information Studies students.

There’s been a lot of discussion among our US-based colleagues recently about AASL’s decision to use ‘school librarian’ as the official title for school library media specialists in all future correspondence, policy and advocacy activities of the association. This news was buzzing in January across a number of professional journals and websites, discussion lists and social networking sites – check out American Libraries magazine, School Library Journal’s Talkback, AASL’s blog, Cathy Nelson’s blog, Bookends blog, just to name a few, and clearly the debate continues.

It comes as no surprise that we struggle as a profession to come to consensus on this issue, whether here in Australia or in other countries, and the US is no exception. No matter what label an information specialist (my preferred generic label) adopts within a school, education system or state, the bottom line is that it is the daily practice and actions of the person holding this position that defines what the role is (and is not) to their school community!

A definite win for our US colleagues is this fabulous article published in Education Week yesterday which features a number of library media specialist movers & shakers. While David Loertscher’s ‘learning commons’ concept gets an airing, I was particularly struck by Joyce Valenza’s ‘take’ on libraries as “no longer [being] grocery stores where students can go to pick up ingredients, but kitchens, where they have the resources necessary to create a finished product.”

What are your thoughts on AASL’s decision to officially adopt the title ‘school librarian’ as the label for 21st century school library media specialists, and how might you use the ideas presented in the above article to inform the development of a vision for your school library and your role as a TL?

Remember: the future of our profession lies in the hands of those who currently practice.

All the best with your studies at CSU in 2010. :-)

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One response to “‘School Librarians’ and Libraries – Seeking Relevance & a Future?

  1. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.

    iso 9000

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