The Point Is…

Personal question, 1 of 3 I have today but this one is on my mind. Are there any students/adults out there that didn’t realize that school librarians

are taught in a Master’s of Library and Information Science (and start this process in a Bachelor’s) to:

-take the Dewey Decimal System (the way books are organized at K-12 level), and truly make sure the collection IN THE LIBRARY matches the classes /lessons the school provides, aside from books students enjoy reading?

-that weeding needs to be done once a week and never, ever ends and there is a proper process to do so? -continual opinions of students, and teachers, the patrons who use that library, are asked for to keep a library’s collection at least to an average age of the year 2000? Would you want YOUR son/daughter learning how to participate in investing for their future in books from 1972? When I did a check on some school libraries collections, their average age was 1975! SEVENTY FIVE – AVERAGE age, think about that.

-take technology, and apply and instruct old and new applications for and to parents, teachers, and students- technology changes EVERY SINGLE YEAR- without a school librarian, do you realize NOTHING NEW happens and this experience is different, I promise, it is 100% different coming from an educator than from a certified librarian- absolutely different, because they are trained differently.

-reach out to parents, students, on their OWN when they provide safe places to patrons, and become the bridge between parent and teacher to help both sides and facilitate learning – when the teacher is going it alone, do you realize how stressful that is for the educator, the parent, AND the student? That is why library media specialists are one of the most underused resources, EVER – and if this position does not exist, take a stress level x5 on everyone involved and imagine what is being left out of education.

-enhance the ability to approach tests and raise test scores in a practical way, which increase when students are INTERESTED in areas like vocational, artistic, literary AND academic, and yes, believe it or not sports. All of these areas are tied together in a properly trained certified library media specialist.

-fill in the gaps, find discrepancies that exist in learning heard from the parent, from the student and fill those spaces in when the library media specialist sees areas of weakness – they have sources in the community to assist with this. -become knowledgeable about student’s interests ALONG with student’s needs.

-keep an ear to every single faculty, admin, and student in the building and when they hear there is a need – they immediately go to problem solve to provide a solution to that need – that is one of the key roles of a certified library specialist, networking, IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL.

-multi-task on a daily basis – this week – I connected students to legislators on legitimate problems they want to see change in Delaware, provided scholarship references and tips to, answered questions about how to screenshot forms on a screen, how to wrap text in an excel spreadsheet, how to format a printed page to landscape versus portrait in a pdf, where to go to and find volunteer sheets to volunteer in the community, what is the best way to approach a teacher they are afraid of ( I Called the teacher and worked out an agreement between the two), inform the student how to order graduation materials, even though late, where to go to obtain a driver’s pass if they just started driving, where they can find information on electives for scheduling, who to meet up with about printing a one sheet paper in color, how they can order a lunch they forgot to order this AM, who to contact in t he community to find a way to get involved in a nature internship, where to find info on tutoring in the summer, BREATHE- this was me by 11:30 AM today, and half of the above was by email from students not in school this week –

The point is –

STUDENTS have needs that do not fall during school hours some districts, and schools do not understand what Library Media Specialists do or why they are needed to do every single day for students and teachers, but they never bother to ask how this position has changed, just as education is changing.

Did you see any mention of shelving books, stamping books, and promoting literacy in the above? — Wait for it wait for it— no-

that stereotype of what librarians, which ARE Library Media Specialists, is from the 60’s – toss it, and help, as a parent, as a teacher, as a grandparent, as a RELATIVE, ask WHY this role, is not in your school – I am trying to also help make sure we have a process that allows every school to have certified librarian specialists, alongside paras, alongside public librarians, to help ALL OF THE ABOVE HAPPEN.

Please do not hesitate to provide why this is important in one of two ways below – but without your awareness and realization of what a certified librarian specialist is trained to support and to for your student – NOTHING happens and you agree to that – or you disagree with that, which is how change happens for a new future of education. We would love input you would provide below:

P.S. For how many that know little to nothing about this position in their school district, there are so many that do realize and do know, and you are the reasons, why Library Media Specialists can achieve the things they do 🙂 I am blessed to be in a district that realizes this and so many parents, teachers, and students realize this, but there so many many states, districts and schools that do not. If education at a higher level is to change, then everyone needs to be involved and committed to this ideal.


About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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