[library-media] Library Title Debate

Rick Cline rcline at media.utah.edu
Mon Jan 25 15:51:53 MST 2010

If you recall, about two years ago UEN produced seven PSAs (public service announcements) promoting school libraries and library school teachers. If you go to eMedia and use the search term "Uelma" you will find them. One of the clips is actually called "School Library Teacher."

Here's an opportunity for you to show these in your local communities (e.g., school) to promote school libraries and library school teachers. I think that they are great PR stuff for you!

- Rick Cline

-----Original Message-----
From: library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org [mailto:library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org] On Behalf Of Lanell Rabner
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2010 2:05 PM
To: library-media at lists.uen.org
Subject: [library-media] Library Title Debate

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 users.

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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