[library-media] Library Title Debate

Lanell Rabner lanell.rabner at nebo.edu
Mon Jan 25 14:05:05 MST 2010

Hello to you all!

This has been an excellent discussion about who we are or 
should be and what we should or should not be called. 
Sharyl was right-on however, when she wrote: "Nomenclature 
aside, it won't matter what we call ourselves if we don't 
deliver. If we don't assume the roles of teacher, reading 
advocate, information specialist, program manager, and 
partner in planning and teaching curriculum, it won't 
matter what we call ourselves". That said, Colleen 
Eggett's message is a perfect example of "library 
teaching". Having been a librarian for 30+ years and 
having worked in Public, Academic, and School libraries, I 
believe today's public knows that librarians teach. People 
go to the library to take computer classes of all kinds. 
And here we have the State Library offering us training on 
Public Library databases so we in turn can train our 

I'm okay with being just a Librarian, as that is what I 
went to graduate school to become. I love librarianship 
and believe it continues to evolve into the best, most 
satisfying profession on the planet. And frankly, our 
title does not define what we do. We do. We can be called 
Teacher-Librarians, but if we chose not to teach, then we 
are not teachers.

Too often librarians are their own worse enemy. Either we 
don’t deliver, or when we do, we don’t tell our success 
stories. Trite as it may sound, now really is the time to 
speak up. We have teaching colleagues, administrators, 
legislators, parents, and communities who have no clue 
what we do. We have to get bold and tell people what we 
do. And it is not just sitting in our offices reading book 
reviews or checking out books.

We’re all over-worked, under-staffed, and poorly funded. 
In the past 5 days I’ve taught 14 information literacy 
mini-lessons, book-talked with 2 resource classes, and 
checked out classroom novels to 4 classes. And I’ve got 2 
weeks worth of magazines, plus an entire book cart full of 
un-catalogued new books sitting in my office. But that’s 
what we do. We teach first. So we better start letting the 
powers that be know that is what we do.

This is great profession. So do not get discouraged. We 
just need to start banding together, demonstrating the 
value, we, as librarians, bring to both our collections 
and our student bodies. Speak out!

~lanell rabner

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