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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Survey: Why are you a MIDDLE 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?


  1. 1. It wasn’t really my goal to be a middle school librarian, but when we moved I needed a job and this was the one available that I applied for and got. I wanted to be a high school librarian. I’ve been one for 11 of my 16 years of teaching (one year in a primary school and four in a middle school.)
    2. I expected the kids to be walking hormones–and they are! I didn’t realize that the joy and fun and wonder of reading that is part of younger kids is still with them at this age, so that’s been a surprise and delight.
    3. The best part is connecting kids with the right books for them. Working with teachers who see the value in collaborating and who appreciate and take advantage of my instructional skills and support me as a teacher are also good points.
    4. The most frustrating part is working to improve an outdated collection (average copyright here was 1965 when I was hired a few years ago). There’s a limited budget and big demands. It’s also incredibly frustrating to purchase materials to support the curriculum only to have faculty change and teachers discontinue projects. It’s frustrating that teachers will bypass the library in favor of the computer lab and don’t seem to do any instruction in web evaluation and “don’t have time” for collaboration because they’re too busy preparing for high stakes tests.
    5. I don’t dislike the library I’m working in–my magic wand would convince administrators and teachers of the value of collaboration and information literacy skills so that students are better prepared for their future. (And it might convince kids that typing or isn’t the best way to find information!)

  2. Cathy Lawrence says:

    1 & 2) After teaching 4th grade for 9 years I moved to my present school to teach 8th grade. I also knew the media specialist would retire in a the next few years and I wanted her job! Much to my surprise – she decided to retire at the end of the year and so I am exactly where I wanted to be! AND I LOVE IT!!!

    3) The kids!! I love the interaction with students talking about books, helping them with research, being a friend for those that need me.

    4) Teachers that don’t see the big picture of what I do. Yes, I am reading a book at my desk – it’s part of my job! Yes, it is quiet for the 10 minutes they happen to be in here, it might not be for the rest of the day!

    5) I hope to retire from this library!