[library-media] AASL - New Title

Juan Lee jtlee at utah.gov
Mon Jan 25 14:51:54 MST 2010

As an outsider (I am not a school librarian) I've hesitated to throw my
two cents in, but here they go. I've always been concerned that neither
the titles of library media specialist nor school librarian really
convey to the masses the critical roles you all as educators. Yes, in
many cases those close to you know about what you really do and the
difference you make as part of your school's faculty. But I am afraid
that in many other cases, key stakeholders and funding bodies (school &
district administrators, as well as state & national elected officials)
do not appreciate the teaching role school librarians have and thus fund
these positions at a different, often lower scale. We have also seen
cases where the school librarian position is seen as non-essential and
marked for reduction of support. It seems to me that library teacher or
teacher librarian begins to highlight the educator role that otherwise
may go unnoticed by some.

Juan Tomás


Juan Tomás Lee, State Data Coordinator/Library Consultant
Utah State Library Division
250 N 1950 W, Suite A
Salt Lake City, UT 84116-7901
Phone (801)715-6769
Fax (801)715-6767
Toll-free (800)662-9150 ext. 769
jtlee at utah.gov 

Utah State Library Division hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:00
a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and closed on Friday.

>>> On Monday, January 25, 2010 at 11:26 AM, in message <>, "PAMELA
FOSTER" <pamela.foster at jordan.k12.ut.us> wrote:
I also have never liked the media specialist title. But I have really
liked the teacher-librarian one. I think that title communicates to
other teachers and stakeholders in the school community what our role is
in the school in a much clearer way than school librarian does.

my two cents worth,

Pamela K. Foster
Oquirrh Hills MS, Riverton
Jordan School District, Utah

-----Original Message-----
From: "Kim Hanson" <khanson at btsb.com>
Sent 1/25/2010 10:09:44 AM
To: "Fawn Morgan" <fmorgan at dsdmail.net>, library-media at lists.uen.org 
Subject: X-IMAIL-Spam-Blacklist Re: [library-media] AASL - New Title

I am sorry but I have to weigh in on this issue.  As you all know, I
travel not only Utah but Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.  When I worked
for the other company, I was instructed to refer to everyone as media
specialist.  When calling for an appointment early on in my career and
either a student or someone new answered the phone, I would ask for the
media specialist and there would be silence on the line and I would then
ask for the school librarian.  They knew exactly what I was talking
about then.  I have been using the term school librarian ever since. 
This is your profession whether certified or paraprofessional.  This
also bridges the gap of understanding for a  young patron who attends
not only the school library but the public library as well.
Kim Hanson
Mountain Division Sales Manager
Bound To Stay Bound Books
800-637-6586, ext 3539
217-370-9953 cell phone
khanson at btsb.com 

>>> "Fawn Morgan" <fmorgan at dsdmail.net> 1/23/2010 9:26 AM >>>
Hello colleagues and friends,
Lanell and I have been discussing the import of this new name adoption
with the following conclusions:

1) "School librarian" places that person in a particular library - just
as public, medical, law, special, or academic librarian does. 

2) Removes the confusing term "media".  Hopefully, there will now be
the assumption that we do more than replace light bulbs on projectors,
or hook up DVD players, or merely check out equipment. The public has a
better understanding of what "librarians" do than they have of what
"media specialists" do. I qualify with the word "better" because most of
my casual friends still think we just read and check out books.  It is
up to each of us to show individually that technology applications and
teaching information literacy skills are only aspects of the job.
3) Depending on our individual district or other school administrative
policies, our formal job titles may vary to reflect pay scales, hiring
requirements, or extra duties and responsibilities. However, most of us
are happy to be known as "librarians," in a general setting.

My next question is: Since we are now all school librarians, and now
work in a school library rather than a school media center, how do we
get this message across to others?  Since it has taken 40 years for some
folks to adopt the description library media centers, and managed to
drop the library part as often as not, I fear I will go to my grave
fighting the battle.  Any ideas?
For all those who are living models of the AASL/ALA job description, I
admire you all! According to AASL: "School librarian...the title which
reflects the roles of the 21st-century school library professional as a
leader, instructional partner, information specialist, teacher, and
program administrator." I also love Mike Eisenberg's additional
description of one of our major areas of responsibility, CIO, Chief
Information Officer.  Which of you intends to put this on the sign above
your door? I'd love it!
Layton High School Librarian

>>>> "Lanell Rabner" <lanell.rabner at nebo.edu> 1/19/2010 2:05 
>>>>PM >>> 
> Check out the latest from AASL: 
> 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 
> the profession the title school librarian. 
> Read about the change at: 

> ~lanell 
> Lanell Rabner 
> Librarian 
> Springville High School 
> 1205 East 900 South 
> Springville, Utah 84663 USA 
> 801.489.2870 
> lanell.rabner at nebo.edu 
> _______________________________________________ 
> library-media mailing list 
> library-media at lists.uen.org 
> https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/library-media 

Lanell Rabner 
Springville High School 
1205 East 900 South 
Springville, Utah 84663 USA 
lanell.rabner at nebo.edu 
library-media mailing list
library-media at lists.uen.org 
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