Saturday, February 03, 2007

because a bad librarian can ruin a library

Doug Johnson thoughtfully digs through an issue that has been on my mind a lot lately, as I get closer to finishing library school. Going into library school, I had a pretty bad attitude about what I might learn after 4 years working in a high school library.

(I have learned much, probably not as much as many of my classmates, but more than I expected because I never before (nor will again) read much informational behavior theory. And my cataloging class was such an unmitigated disaster that ever since I feel much freer to break all sorts of rules in an effort to make the catalog more accessible - guerrilla tagging, if you will.)

But the thought on my brain of late is that library school didn't turn me into a dynamic librarian who will change the world. I was already that way. And most of my classmates came in with that attitude, too, but others don't have it. It bothers me that the training/education doesn't even attempt to get at/address what is most important to success for our students and profession. As Doug says, and I thank him so much for mentioning it explicitly, these thoughts come from believing in libraries for students, not in our jobs. This isn't about outreach/promotion for the sake of us, but for the sake of the kids who need information literacy now more than ever.

This is also on my mind because a colleague at another school has been struggling. She treats the job as an 8-3 thing, and doesn't go out of her way for anything or anyone. Not in a stingy, mean way, but just because it isn't her personality. There is such a thing as giving too much of yourself without compensation - most of us are guilty of that. This is the opposite of that. I encourage my colleague to do more for her students, but my words are not having much of an effect. If this colleague stays in her job, teachers and students alike will loose out on the learning experiences they need.

Blue Skunk Blog - Librarian-proofing library programs

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