Teacher-librarian Roles and Responsibilities: A Work in Progress

Teacher Librarian Roles (Conflict Copy) (1)
I’ve been itching for some time to create a roles and responsibilities document that works for me, what I do and the way I see the whole kit and caboodle-man did I just date myself! I was inspired to collect my thoughts this weekend and so I went with it!

I think any document like this is at best a work in progress and open to change; this is magnified further by the nature of our profession, which roots itself in the need for currency and possibility. Please let me know what you think, what I missed or where your understandings don’t exactly match mine.

Will add formal bibliography also.

What will be my reality?

Yes, I’m just a lowly library student,  (see “About the Author” ->), but I do have some real life working-in-schools experience. I know that the reality is not always as it seems in Library School land. I realize that there will be frustrations, obstacles, and differences of opinions. I’m aware that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and I can’t expect change overnight. I know that there’s never enough time in the day and that not all teachers are as enthusiastic about collaboration and 21st Century skills.   I recognize that districts vary when it comes to their needs, requirements, and understandings of the role of their teacher-librarians.

Although I’m aware of these issues, I believe in  AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner. I believe in empowering students to be able to learn what they want to learn. I believe in the potential of authentic inquiry as the motivation and guide to learning. I believe in real life learning situations and unrestricted access to information and sharing tools.

I believe that this is a crucial time for teacher-librarians to establish their role as leaders and collaborators. Media, in all shapes and sizes, is in flux; changes are happening (almost too) quickly. In general, learners feel confused and overwhelmed, the very opposite of empowerment. New state standards are loaded with 21st Century requirements across content areas, including global connections, learning and sharing technologies and real world applications. Teachers librarians can will be the catalyst for the change needed to transform traditional teaching methods. This is the Age of Information and Knowledge, who better than library media specialists to take the lead.

This is the thing. What happens if I’m lucky enough to find a position, however, the administrator wants a librarian who’s only about the books. Not to say that I don’t believe in the power of books. I truly believe my own son, is all of who he is today, because of the identifications he’s made and empathy he’s shared with characters and their stories. There’s nothing better than contributing to a student’s love of reading by offering a book which affords a lasting influence. However, I would only be doing part of my job if I was only about the books; there’s so much more I have to offer.