08 March, 2010

What is a school librarian?

Andrew, over at Librarian Idol has an interesting post on his first visit to an ASLA meeting. I find the questions he raises quite interesting. I think a librarian without teaching qualifications is a better fit in the school library that a teacher without library qualifications would be.
Sure as a librarian I may be biased in that direction but I would be interested in hearing what others think. Like Andrew I am a school librarian now, but I am not a teacher librarian. But hey, last year I did a guest lecture to some primary education students on making to most out of their librarian. So what difference does not being a teacher make to the skills I bring to the library?

Well in my case it means I didn't think I had much in the way of behaviour management. But last Friday I managed to break up a fight (albeit between 2 year 7 nerds) and stop a case of racist teasing.
Plus I am managing 50-80 kids in the library each lunchtime. Initially I was doing this alone, but on the day I hit 80 I decided I would talk to the senior staff about a bit of help. Now I get an 18 year old who is working at the school for a gap year to help me at lunch time.

Like Andrew I am getting involved in things outside the library. I spent a day coaching an under 13s league team at a carnival and I ran the cross country. Both good things, and both have given me the chance to get involved with kids for whom the library is not the number one destination.

At the moment I am working hard to get the library up to what I consider a decent standard and I think that this is a librarian's job rather than a teacher's. Not that a teacher wouldn't have been able to do my job today, pulling off horribly outdated books. A books where Cliff Richard talks about teen culture (1973) a book on cinema talking about a new film called Star Wars. OK, those were spectacular examples and most of the books I am deleting are newer than that, but unfortunately not much outdated. Computer books don't have a long shelf life, books on teen culture or books on health issues need to have pictures which current students can relate to.

But I digress...

so, rather than try to clean up this post I will publish it and tell you to go read Andrew's post instead. He is being a lot more lucid on the topic than I am.

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