How do I …

…Survive? …Live? …Stay sane? …Get through my first hour? …Get to all the essential tasks I am repsonsible for as a librarian AND maintain a sense of direction and organization in a single day?

All of these questions and more we plan to address in April, which contains the following tags:

April – School Library Month

National School Librarian Day – April 4th

National Library Week – April 23-29

National Library Workers Day – April 25th

National Library Week 2023, April 23-29, will be celebrated with the theme “There’s More to the Story.”

Right to Read Day – April 24

National Outreach Library Day – April 26

Take Action for Libraries Day – April 27

There are MANY unknown facts that exist in talking with students in March – many topics that people IN school as well as OUT of school are unaware of. We have touched upon what happens in a typical day of a school library:

But let’s take today:

27 phone calls about student technology not working,

faculty technology not working,

various faculty/admin support needed,

amid an all day line of students needing assistance on specific topics of study, tutoring, writing, professional recommendations,


work opportunities,

how to get a program to work,

how to get the best program out there for their cell phone service,

needing tips on how to approach a problem they are having personally,

helping wht a conflict between other peers,

helping with adivce on navigating certain medical issues,

issues with FAFSA,

issues with post-high school dilemmas,

managing to coordinate attendence to six meetings among all the above,

managing to balance attendance and passes on an ongoing basis all day,

Checking out over 20 books – GASP- YES! Books of interest (Knowing what patrons like) STILL GET CHECKED OUT! LOLOLOLOLOLOL.

balancing the needs of providing a safe and commfortable space for students to find to decompress,

trying to get a bite of a small bagel during the day amid the above,

and this truly was JUST getting me to noon. Trying to complete the requirements for a Component Five requirement in our state amid ALL the above on top of that – let’s take this a step further-

There are school districts that have, if they are lucky, ONE certified librarian in their district, some have not one single one. Trust me on this, this is the same phrase as common as “I think the dog ate my homework” – having a certified librarian with an Information Science Degree MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

(things like information behavior (e.g., how do people realize their need for information, choose their information resources, access those resources, express their need in ways the resource understands,

sift good information from bad, and use that information?),

and metadata,

and faceting,

and the ethics of fair use.

Learning about special libraries (which I’d never even heard of before),

cataloging schemes (which I thought I’d hate, but actually loved for its complexity),

and embedded librarianship JUST TO NAME A FEW!)

We know for a fact many dispute and disagree with this fact, so we have been asking students all month about the things certified librarians provide to them all month and we have obtained the feedback – and will be sharing these details with you all month in April to bring you in the know.

While Delaware does NOT have a ceritified librarian master’s degree program, we are lucky enough to have a certification program for the librarian track in the state out of the Univeristy of Delaware, and we are realizing, something has to give – to allow more:

-certified and Masters Degree librarians to be allowed to go to several Professional Developments during the scholl year that relate to their individual profession

-school libraries, all school libraries, to be a part of the unit count when it comes to an offical librarian in their school

-schools AND districts to contain at least one certified librarian in their whole district, but to realize that is not enough to service the needs of a studen population in a district

-reductions of instances where libraries are not having the life squeezed out of exisiting certified librarians by not providing a budget, – it is true- there are librarians that have not had a budget for YEARS and then think – the library is deemed obsolte, and this is an easy way to justify removing thelibrary due to not being relevant – um- DUH! – you can imagine the age of the books in the library without being given and allowed to have access to a yearly budget just for maintaining the very services stiudents need to tie in to ALL their subject areas!

-school librarians to assume the role of a legitimate SCHOOL LIBRARIAN and not be simply a cover for teaching classes all day not related to research, librarianship, and connections to classes

-scenarios where quality paraprofessionals in the library are paired with a certified librarian

-instances where public libraries work and collaborate alongside school libraries and librarians

Don’t worry. We have the stories that have been compiling for a long time to bring the public up to an awareness level of what needs to be happening in schools with your school library, all month long in April. We are counting on you to take these stories and question, support, advocate, and push for reforms that will move Delaware, currently listed as 46th out of 51 states (counting D.C. as the 51st state)

*FTE stands for – Full Time Equivalent

out of the basement and into the main floor of what students, faculty, admin, and parents deserve – but this can only be done with you being made aware, you supportng the move from the basement to the top floor.

We look forward to April to create a wave of awareness of things you did not know about your school library, and use your voice to help us all make the move forward – from our state to another!


About Harry Brake

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