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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Our title? School Librarian?

Our title? School Librarian?

Related Tags: Classroom Technology
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"The American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Board of Directors voted at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, to officially adopt for the profession the title school librarian." http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2010/january201... What do you think? In the state of Ohio, many of us are known as "Media Specialists," a title that is ambiguous to many people, including fellow educators. I like school librarian. How about you?

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Ash's picture

I like school librarian, although I don't think it really shows all we do. I like media specialist better, simply because for most people there is no reputation/stigma attached to it (whereas I think "librarian" does). I really liked teacher librarian too (because it really described the job), but I think that title is a little puzzling.

Susan's picture

I like the term 'Teacher Librarian'. I agree that 'Media Specialist' was too hard for folks to understand what we do.
But I also think that the term 'School Librarian' will also be applied to library aides, which won't distinguish the licensed librarian from the aide. So whenever school districts have to have a Librarian in every school building (which I hope will happen soon), some administrators may claim that they already have a school librarian - when in fact they have an aide, not a licensed professional Librarian.

Linda Locker's picture
Linda Locker
Media specialist for a Grade 5-6 Ohio Middle School

To our international friends ~ Are other titles used in your country for a school librarian?

Fran Bullington's picture
Fran Bullington
School Librarian at Boiling Springs High School in South Carolina

I prefer Teacher Librarian, also, because it captures our main role: that of teacher. Many do have a preconceived notion of what a librarian is, but if the word "teacher" is added to the title, the general public might see us differently.

Cheri Dobbs's picture
Cheri Dobbs
Middle School Media Specialist and Coordinator of Library Services PreK3-12

I have never liked the term "Media Specialist" and tell people to call me "librarian." I've actually received phone calls from the news media who thought I was the communications or media relations person for the school. The term "Librarian" should be enough -- the fact that it isn't speaks to the larger image problem that librarians have. All of us in the profession need to do everything we can to update the public's ideas of what librarians do and who we are.

Brooke Witham's picture

I prefer Teacher Librarian as well. As Allison Zmuda advocates, we are teachers of information literacy and our classroom is the library.

Brooke Witham's picture

Susan's [point is immensely telling! A license is required in all of the teachers and our subject is no different.

Susan B. Hall's picture

[quote]"The American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Board of Directors voted at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, to officially adopt for the profession the title school librarian." http://www.ala.org/ala/newspresscenter/news/pressreleases2010/january201... do you think? In the state of Ohio, many of us are known as "Media Specialists," a title that is ambiguous to many people, including fellow educators.

I like school librarian. How about you?[/quote]

I like media specialist because it does inspire questions which allow me to elaborate. Also, specialist implies professionalism. In addition, media specialist vs. librarian sounds much more "cool"!

brian cleary's picture
brian cleary
Library/media specialist in Camas Washington

I am not certain the title is the thing, but having said that Our district called us library/media Specialists and i liked that. I was in the minority on that one and we are now called teacher librarians which is fine too.
What i do is not what they do in classrooms, so while I am absolutely a teacher I am not the same kind of teacher.
on the other hand i also respond when our kindergarteners call me library man.

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