Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Welcome to the Library: Talking is Allowed

A few months ago, I ran into an old friend.  We started visiting and she asked me, “So what grade are you teaching these days?”  I told her I had moved out of the classroom and was now a school library media specialist.  She snorted loudly, and laughed, “You? A librarian?  You’re joking! What grade are you really teaching?”  

If you closed your eyes and visualized a librarian, you’d probably conjure up an image of an older, grey-haired lady in a bun.  She’d probably be shushing you with a very stern look on her face.  You might describe her as quiet, introverted, and passive.  However, not a single one of our fabulous BPS librarians fits this description.  

3208832266_8a94023465_o.jpgIn this Google world, we are often accused of not being valuable.  Information is easily accessible from the palm of your hand; who needs a librarian?  Times have changed, but so has the role of the library media specialist.  Students need us now, more than ever. With a never-ending sea of information, students need help navigating formats, evaluating content and sources, and creating original material.  Students have access to the information, but need help using the information to develop critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication skills.
Librarians are juggling information and media in all forms from books to websites, experts to gaming.  We are experts in digital resources, ebooks, and databases.  We also are versed in digital creation tools and love to explore gaming, video creation, presentation tools, blogging, and other technology rich projects.  

Top 5 Librarian Myths -- Debunked!

Myth 1:  Librarians organize materials and work behind a desk most of the day.
Truth: Librarians are teachers first!  Our job is to interact with students and staff.

Myth 2:  Librarians are all about books.
Truth: Librarians are more than just keepers of books.  We help with technology projects, set up virtual field trips, find appropriate online resources, provide staff development, and much, much more!

Myth 3:  Librarians prefer to be in the library at all times and feel uncomfortable in other settings.
Truth:  Librarians desperately want to be included in your classroom.  Please, invite us in! Keep us posted on your projects and involve us!

Myth 4:  The librarian expects a quiet working space.
Truth:  We like a busy library!  Productive noise and collaboration does not bother us at all!

Myth 5:  Librarians are generally old school, and don’t keep up with the times.
Truth:  Librarians are leaders in education!   With access to resources, direct contact with  students, and willingness to learn and provide trainings to staff, some of the most radical changes in education across the country are coming from the library.

In closing, I’d like to share Urban Dictionary’s definition of a librarian.  The next time you see your school’s library media specialist, beware of the “unfathomable power.”  

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