Time flies when you’re having fun! My first two courses in librarianship are now checked in the mission accomplished column! What I’ve learned can be put into two main categories: theory and reality.
Theory: High school librarians are teachers who create lessons with other teachers and reach students in schools with information literacy instruction or at least improved research skills.
Reality: Librarians troubleshoot technology for students, help them reset passwords, get to know them through book clubs, schedule when teachers want to visit, and hope they don’t make anyone upset.
This just applies to high school. Teachers don’t bring classes of students to the library for book check out, typically. Although, there are some units in English and Social Studies when maybe this happens, if the library’s collection is big enough to accommodate that. Having worked in three different states, and four different districts, (which isn’t a huge number, but does reach beyond my own backyard) I can only remember two libraries. Surely the other schools had them, but I don’t think I ever went there…even though I was an English teacher. However, I will add, that our current librarian has done much to change the perception of the library where I currently work.
Attitudinal changes happen slowly, so I have been glad that the theoretical side of what I have learned has been focused on “new librarians” and libraries. Makerspaces are exciting. Apps add access to all sorts of things around the clock. Technology touches students at all income levels, and all of this is available through the library.
Theory: Libraries are vital community centers.
Reality: Many still think libraries are dusty caverns of antiquated novels.
From what I’ve been exposed to in just two courses, librarians are not wimpy and are not going to let libraries go down without a fight. Whether you think of it as regentrification, revitalization or a modern makeover, I think libraries are on the upswing and I am excited to be joining the profession at this point in time.