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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Survey: Why are you a HIGH SCHOOL librarian?

Tell us in the comments WHY YOU ARE A HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARIAN?

  1. Was it your goal?
  2. Does it meet your expectations?
  3. What is the best part?
  4. What’s the most frustrating part?
  5. If you could magically wave a wand and work in a different kind of library, where would it be?

Comments

  1. Larry says:

    Why am I a librarian?
    Because I love to read; because books don’t talk back. Because I’m not chained to a classroom that makes me an in loco parentis individual required to be there every minute a class is present. Because I’m tired of ed biz admin; e.g., testing, grading, IEPs, parent conferences, classrm management in an era of cell phones, in a country where some quarter billion people own hand guns.

    My goal?
    To do whatever I can to make classroom teachers look good, be successful. To try to make students life long lovers of reading for pleasure; to support the curriculum by acquiring the best resources–print & non-print; to help all students achieve the highest level of academic accomplishment of which they’re capable.

    Has school librarianship met my expectations?
    For the most part yes, but more & more US states, especially like California, are educating on the cheap. The public more & more apparently thinks that books /libraries are less than critically important and when budget crunches occur, like music, art, athletics, librarians can be let go. Class sizes can increase as long as we can control our charges and get them through school. I don’t agree, of course, but my opinion’s not one likely to sway the masses.

    Best part? For me, it’s seeing the light go on in the eyes of a previously lost student. It’s the arrival of a new book order approaching the eagerness of Christmas morning. It’s finding a great book I really want to read while reshelving, straightening, shelf-reading.
    Most frustrating? Perhaps that might be the general lack of knowledge on the part of superiors/colleagues of what a librarian actually does/is supposed to do, particularly in light of the new California law changing our job title to Teacher-Librarian. The cross purposes that occasionally occur when the library noise level is more than one teacher will accept while simultaneously another teacher’s class is on task, accomplishing something constructive, though they may be a tad distracting. The increasing legality of the teaching profession. While administering an ele. library near Tokyo in 1976, a 2d gr. colleague had a law degree which he said he found very useful during parent conferences. Those parents who unrealistically think they’re doing their children a favor by getting upset, defensive if their kids don’t get As in everything.

    What library would I like to be in if I had a magic wand?
    A music library like that where I worked during undergrad & when I first graduated, at the National Music Camp /Interlochen Arts Academy, Interlochen, MI. The pay was peanuts but I was single & it didn’t matter. It was a job I loved and if I hadn’t gotten a physical exam notice for the draft Fri., Nov. 13th, 1963, I probably would have stayed there until they took me out feet up.

  2. Charlotte says:

    I taught high school English from 1989-1996. I taught in combination with the library after that. After spending many years in K-12 school libraries, I made the leap to high school only (9-12) in August of 2006. I am so glad that I made this leap because this is my favorite age group. Many opportunities abound for connecting with students from book discussion to problem solving to sharing about everyday things. I get to see a different side of the students when they come to the library vs. teaching in the classroom.
    Was it your goal? The rural school I was working in needed a certified librarian so that they could keep the school open. I agreed to pursue certification never knowing how much I would love, love, love the library aspect of my job. High school has always been my goal because they are my favorite age group.

    Does it meet your expectations? Yes and then some!
    What is the best part? Connecting with kids and knowing that I’ve made a difference either in their lives or in their classroom assignments..knowing that I’m teaching them skills that they need for the next phase of their lives be it college or tech school.
    What’s the most frustrating part? Not enough money in the budget and not enough hours in the day.
    If you could magically wave a wand and work in a different kind of library, where would it be? Nowhere. I’m happy right where I am.

  3. Nancy says:

    After a long career in elementary schools, I was transferred to the high school. The transfer was not my choice, but when I got here, I found that I love it! Why? I love the thanks from the students when I help them locate just the right sources or just the right book. I love collaborating with teachers on projects in any subject. I love the challenge of updating an ancient, long-neglected collection. And I love the challenge of working with teenagers! The most frustrating part is the lack of funds (of course!) If I were to work anywhere else, it would be in an elegant, private library like the Boston Atheneum.

  4. Nancy says:

    After a long career in elementary schools, I was transferred to the high school. The transfer was not my choice, but when I got here, I found that I love it! Why? I love the thanks from the students when I help them locate just the right sources or just the right book. I love collaborating with teachers on projects in any subject. I love the challenge of updating an ancient, long-neglected collection. And I love the challenge of working with teenagers! The most frustrating part is the lack of funds (of course!) If I were to work anywhere else, it would be in an elegant, private library like the Boston Atheneum.