June 23, 2015 by Dr. Robbie Barber
At a recent class in Adobe Premiere, another student found out I was a school librarian and said “your job has certainly changed in the last 10 years.” The truth is that just over 10 years ago, I started Library Information Studies, so I haven’t been a librarian that long. But the other truth is that my education is still spot on. I still need to understand and defend copyright law. Now more than ever. I need to understand how students (and teachers) view literature. And, I need to understand how to create a website, make a wiki, write a blog and handle technology as it emerges. That is the key – as your librarian, I not only make decisions on books and print materials, I also handle database decisions, future technology and teach technology to students, teachers and administrators.
At the core, my job as a school librarian is to know how to find the answers.
Comment: There’s no need for a school library / students can get everything online.
Response: Of course not.
For some reason, the Powers That Be in school district administrations do not understand a few facts.
- Not every book printed is available in electronic format. Period.
- Students who are learning to read, learn better with a physical book. [ref] [ref2]
- Having a central location for learning in different formats is essential to the school building.
- Having a trained librarian in the school building increases the students’ reading levels. [ref]
- Your trained librarian is specifically trained to help you discover information or how to do something. I don’t need to know everything because I can find anything.
- FYI – being able to find anything means that your school librarian is probably your education technology specialist too. If you’re not sure, ask. I guarantee the school librarian can help you get an answer. [ref: School Libraries Matter: The Changing Role of School Librarian from Capstone Publishers]