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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Survey: Why are you an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL librarian?

Tell us in the comments WHY YOU ARE AN ELEMENTARY 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. Beth says:

    The best part of being an elementary librarian is handing a book to a child and seeing their face light up because it is just what they wanted.

    The most frustrating part is dealing with people who think that’s all I do – people who just don’t understand all that goes into the job.

    Overall, though, I don’t think I would seriously want to work in any other type of library. I have worked in college and public libraries on my way here, so I know that every job has its frustrations! :)

  2. Karen says:

    1. Being a school librarian was not my goal. My initial goal was to be a Home Economics teacher. I had a degree in Home Economics and wanted to teach in my subject area.
    2. Actually, being a school librarian has exceeded my expectations. I am able to integrate my love for reading, teaching and technology all in one package.
    3. The best part of being an elementary librarian is seeing my students “teach” other students what I have taught them, seeing students have that “aha” moment, and seeing students read nonfiction books as much as, if not more than, fiction books.
    4. The frustrating part is dealing with the bureaucracy, politics, the serious lack of funds, and people who do not understand nor appreciate what I do.
    5. I would still like to work in my library, but have updated computers, with permission to use Web 2.0 tools without filters, have a flexible schedule (instead of being a release person), have a yearly budget that would enable me to purchase the necessary print and electronic resources that meet our changing curriculum, and library aides!

  3. Rebecca says:

    1. Actually, I want (ed) to be in a middle or high school, but I’m really enjoying the elementary school. Except maybe the kindergarten classes. (Individual K students I love, but in large masses they are a bit much!)

    2. Does it meet your expectations? It has exceeded my expectations. I get to do all the stuff I found fun as a classroom teacher: teaching, reading, interacting with the kids. I get to avoid most of the stuff that I found aggravating & time consuming: figuring grades, nagging about missing work, explaining to parents that their little darlin’ has been a lump for 9 weeks and is in danger of failing my class.

    3. What is the best part? Sharing stories with the kids. The look on their faces when they figure out how to do it themselves.

    4. What’s the most frustrating part? Never enough $ or time to implement my big ideas. Students losing Brand New books that have a mile-long reserve list.

    5. If you could magically wave a wand and work in a different kind of library, where would it be? I would be tempted to move back to a middle school library. I love that age group! (But I’d miss the little ones too–middle schoolers usually don’t give you hugs and call you the book fairy!)

  4. Ronthelibrarian says:

    1.I absolutely wanted high school, and I avoided and ignored all classes on elementary. I’ve been in elementary 8 years and love it. 2. Better than expected. The kids are still willing to learn, and everyone is shocked at what kids can do on the computers if they are taught well; management is easy, no teen ‘tudes to deal with; and the Kindies are soooo fun. 3. Reading stories, Battle of the Books, having kids want to hang out at recess, chess club. 4. Most frustrating? Being told how easy my job is because “all I have to do is read to kids.” 5. I love my school; maybe I’d choose to be in a well-funded intermediate grade only school (3-5 or 4-5) on Curacao or some exotic location like that.

  5. Susan says:

    Being a school librarian was not my goal. I happened to get a job as a library aide while waiting to get a teaching job in the district. I decided I liked the library so much more than the regular classroom. I get to work with kids, books, and technology. Plus, I don’t do grades or parent/teacher conferences.
    Being a school librarian has exceeded my expectations. No day is ever the same. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
    The best part of being an elementary school librarian is sharing great books with the kids. Then, asking later what they thought. I have a reputation for knowing good books to read because kids will approach me to say, “I need a good book”. We walk down the aisles and find that “good book” together.
    The frustrating part of being a school librarian is never having enough $$$ to purchase the books we need. Plus, classroom teachers that believe all I do is read to the kids is frustrating too.
    Once I retire (which is not for many years), I would like to work in the small, public library in my town. I see so much potential!

  6. Rachel says:

    I am an elementary school librarian because it is a fantastic job! I get to see ALL the kids. I play with puppets, sings songs, do dances, play games, and share wonderful books every day! (Sometimes I worry someone is going to realize out how much fun I am having and figure out a way to ruin it for me – sort of like what happened in my high school English classes! – I deplore high stakes testing.) I didn’t set out to be an elementary librarian – I was going to be a college Lit professor! LOL! Being a librarian has actually exceeded my expections. Its more rewarding than I ever really imagined. Most frustrating for me is being a one-woman show. I could do so much more if I had even part time help in my library. If I could wave a wand I’m not sure where I would go – I have always struggled with which group of kids I enjoy most. I’ve taught all grades from Pre-k to 12th and each level has its own rewards and challenges. Maybe I need to be at a small town library with all grades in a tropical community with unlimited funds for salaries and library funding. Anyone know of a job like that?

  7. Rachel says:

    I am an elementary school librarian because it is a fantastic job! I get to see ALL the kids. I play with puppets, sings songs, do dances, play games, and share wonderful books every day! (Sometimes I worry someone is going to realize out how much fun I am having and figure out a way to ruin it for me – sort of like what happened in my high school English classes! – I deplore high stakes testing.) I didn’t set out to be an elementary librarian – I was going to be a college Lit professor! LOL! Being a librarian has actually exceeded my expections. Its more rewarding than I ever really imagined. Most frustrating for me is being a one-woman show. I could do so much more if I had even part time help in my library. If I could wave a wand I’m not sure where I would go – I have always struggled with which group of kids I enjoy most. I’ve taught all grades from Pre-k to 12th and each level has its own rewards and challenges. Maybe I need to be at a small town library with all grades in a tropical community with unlimited funds for salaries and library funding. Anyone know of a job like that?

  8. Carl Harvey says:

    I’ve always know I was going to be an educator. First thought was an elementary teacher, then a social studies teacher, but by the time I entered college my plan was to be a technology coordinator for a school district, but at that point there weren’t many degree programs for that type of position. One day in the mail a flyer for a Media Services program appeared, and I thought this might be the closest degree to my goal. But, after working in the public library during high school, and after a few course I quickly fell in love with being a library media specialist. It has been quite a rewarding job the last 10 years and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Once, the library profession had taken hold, I knew I wanted to work in an elementary. I love the wide variety of students and teachers in an elementary school and no two days have ever been the same.

  9. Kandyce says:

    I’m not sure I really do want to be a librarian. I have been teaching for 13 years, the last 10 in second grade and I decided it was time to shake myself up a little. Now I am wondering what I was thinking. Over the summer our new principal changed the library to a “prep” time, people left stuff they want me to store in the library and because of computer issues the entire library has to be re-barcoded. In addition I all of a sudden don’t fit it anywhere at my school. Whew! It will get better right?

  10. Rokalani and Kyra says:

    We are already librarians and it is really fun.The most frustrating part is lining up books and always getting into trouble for knocking over books. WELL clumsy best describes us( not Rokalani). I guess the most fun part is having to scan books

  11. Ms Tifflin says:

    School library monitors are commited students who give their time freely to the assist the library, with training on how to work in the school library and within a team they are capable of performing the tasks that enable the library to function when the librarian is off sick or on a course.During the year their confidence is built which enables them to engage in new library activities and tasks.All school library monitors should be formally recognized for their contributions and hard work towards the library such as medals-bronze,silvers and golds with certificates and official pictures like school class pictures.

  12. Deb says:

    I want to be a Teacher Librarian so right now I’m working on my multiple subjects teaching credential. I’ve worked in public libraries for over 7 years. I figured that being a Library Specialist at an elementary school would give me the experience of working at an elementary school since I want to teach first before becoming a teacher librarian. The children and teacher definitely meet my expectations, I feel very supported and the kids are genuinely interested in books and library time. The most frustrating part of my job is funding. Each school has to provide its own funds and the library usually doesn’t get any money unless PTA gives it. Our books are so outdated, one child wanted to check out a book on Pluto, the planet, and I had to tell him it’s not a planet anymore and I had to weed the book. I can’t apply for grants either because it has to be done on the district level and if there is a grant on the district level it usually goes to the high school libraries.

  13. Cheryl May says:

    Being an Elementary School Librarian was not my goal in life. I’ve always worked in business and law libraries. However, I have discovered that many students don’t have the basic skills and understanding. This allows me to work on these skills during our weekly Fine Arts Library class. Since I have experience in high school, middle school, and business libraries, it helps that I can see what the students will be facing in the years ahead, and attempt to prepare them for it. For example, I’ve found that many students have trouble with the concept of “between” as in a book in Fiction G falls on the shelf between Fiction F and Fiction J. Or the 551s come between the 400s and the 600s.