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Posts Tagged ‘School Librarianship’

U.S. House Drafts SKILLS Act to Support School Librarians

Posted by Editor on January 25, 2012

By Lauren Barack, January 20, 2012 in School Library Journal

Three House lawmakers introduced legislation this week that could strengthen and ensure school librarians’ continued role as educators in the nation’s K-12 schools.

Drafted by U.S. Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ.) (left), Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act, is a companion bill to a measure introduced in July in the Senate. Under both bills, school librarians would be assured a continuing role in schools as part of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Several key provisions in the SKILLS Act strive to better define and strengthen the future role and federal funding for librarians who work in schools. One provision states that an “effective school library program,” is a program that’s staffed by a state-certified school librarian. The act also strengthens school librarians’ right to gain access to professional development funds under ESEA. In addition, the measure sets aside competitive grants to underserved schools and districts so they can work to develop effective library programs.

“This is what we’re working for,” says Jeffrey Kratz, assistant director of the Washington, D.C. office of the American Library Association (ALA). Read the rest of this entry »


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Aug 05 2011 Q: I am considering a career change and have been thinking about getting my MLS. What are the job prospects like for school librarians?

Posted by Editor on August 8, 2011

From Career Q&A with the Library Career People

Published by at 1:35 pm under career change,getting started,job satisfaction

Q: I am considering a career change and have been thinking about getting my MLS. I am wondering what the job prospects are like for school librarians. Also what is the day to day career like? What do librarians like the most about their jobs? What do they like the least? What kind of job satisfaction do they have? Thank you so much for any information you can provide.

SM:  Since neither Tiffany nor I are school librarians  (often called school library media specialists), we cannot give you firsthand advice on what it is like to be one. However, we are quite good at providing information that might be useful:

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In the NY Times – Expendabilty of school librarians?

Posted by Editor on June 29, 2011


School librarians are on the chopping block as states and cities seek to cut their education budgets.

In New York City, education officials say that after several years in a row of cutting costs, freezing wages and eliminating extracurricular activities, they may have no choice but to turn to librarians. And with technological advances, education policy makers are rethinking how they view library services in general.

Do superintendents and principals see librarians as more expendable than other school employees? If so, why?

(Note: An earlier version of this introduction included a quotation from Shael Polakow-Suransky, New York City’s chief academic officer, about libraries and technology in the classroom, from The Times’s news article on nationwide budget pressures on school libraries. For his views on the issue, see the article.)

Read this article here.

Posted in Library Management, Thinking Long Term | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Opinion – Saving the Google students (In the LA Times)

Posted by Editor on March 29, 2010

For the Google generation, closing school libraries could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to sift through sources is like sending them into the world without knowing how to read.

By Sara Scribner  (Thanks to Jill Tinsley for alerting me to this article)

March 21, 2010

The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders — those born between 1991 and 2004 — has no memory of a time before Google. But although these students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the Internet, they know a lot less than they think. And worse, they don’t know what they don’t know.

As a librarian in the Pasadena Unified School District, I teach students research skills. But I’ve just been pink-slipped, along with five other middle school and high school librarians, and only a parcel tax on the city’s May ballot can save the district’s libraries. Closing libraries is always a bad idea, but for the Google generation, it could be disastrous. In a time when information literacy is increasingly crucial to life and work, not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read.

Instead of simply navigating books and the Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature — an annual index of magazine and newspaper articles used in the olden days — today’s students sift through an infinite number of options: books, Internet sources, academic databases. Much of the time they opt for Google, which is like being tossed into the ocean without a paddle.

An info-literate student can find the right bit of information amid the sea of irrelevance and misinformation. But any college librarian will tell you that freshman research skills are absolutely abysmal. Before they graduate from high school, students need to be able to understand the phenomenal number of information options at their fingertips, learn how to work with non-Google-style search queries, avoid plagiarism and judge whether the facts before them were culled by an expert in the field or tossed off by a crackpot in the basement.

As even struggling school districts manage to place computers in classrooms, it’s difficult to find a child without Internet access. But look closer at what happens when students undertake an academic task as simple as researching global warming — tens of millions of hits on Google — and it becomes clear that the so-called divide is not digital but informational. It’s not about access; it’s about agility.

Most children consider a computer search second nature, so trying to give them instruction or advice can be difficult. Recently, noticing that a sixth-grader didn’t know how to search the school library catalog, I tried to show him the steps. “You don’t need to tell me,” he said, clearly insulted. “I know how to use a computer!”…

Read the rest of this entry »

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Teacher-librarians are needed more than ever…

Posted by Editor on April 21, 2009

from Judith Comfort

Teacher-librarians are needed more than ever.

Open Access has exploded online and captured the imagination of librarians, scholars, and students on a global scale. But how much of this has filtered down to school-age children?

Push open the door of the bricks-and-mortar school library. The place is abuzz with kids packing so many batteries, screens & wires that the security gate screams in protest. Gone are the study carrels as teachers expect collaboration amongst students.

Open room design has made us challenge our most profound practices – what did we say this room was for?


Open sesame to the digital world….

see entire post at

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The Allure of the Big Fuss … from a blog called INDEXED…

Posted by Editor on October 7, 2008

See the blog and associated comments to this posting at:

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School Librarianship

Posted by Editor on July 10, 2008

What does a school library media specialist do?

Today’s school library media specialist works with both students and teachers to facilitate access to information in a wide variety of formats, instruct students and teachers how to acquire, evaluate and use information and the technology needed in this process, and introduces children and young adults to literature and other resources to broaden their horizons. As a collaborator, change agent, and leader, the school library media specialist develops, promotes and implements a program that will help prepare students to be effective users of ideas and information, a lifelong skill. The many roles of a library media specialist are detailed in chapter one, “The Vision,” of Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (Chicago: American Library Association, 1998). ISBN 0-8389-3470-6

For more info visit the American Association of School Librarians!

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