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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

"get out of my profession"

I admit it. I said it. Very passionately, too. Where? At the SLJ Library Leadership Summit. Why? Because I was reading lips of people in the audience who were saying things like, "I’m not going to try that stuff. I don’t have time. It’s just a waste to try. It won’t do any good."

The context: we were on a panel discussing the idea of breaking out of the box and roadblocks. I posted several of my points and commentary on this blog. I mentioned that complacency is our worst enemy and that we do it do ourselves. My part of the panel centered around discussing dispositions and attitudes. I strongly believe we have to model being life-long learners.

This does not mean I think every librarian has to twitter, set up facebook pages for her students, and throw out their books. I am not an ivory tower library theologian. I am a practicing librarian who doesn’t have enough electricity or ethernet connections to meet the demands of our program. I have one microphone and 15 headseats and 2 speakers for 19 computers. I am a practicing librarian with 940 students and a clerk who has been there 2 days out of 5 for the past 3 weeks due to illness. I don’t meet my own standards of success. I’m not doing enough to make me happy. I don’t teach enough, have enough circulation, or plan enough lessons with my faculty. I don’t have enough unfiltered computers, time in the day, or a beautiful library. Mine is actually an ugly box room that needs updating. My budget is woefully inadequate and I need new carpet and furniture. My AV setup is ridiculous with me running around with 7 remotes in and out of a closet for presentations. I have 2 digital projectors on carts to circulate to teachers with 940 students. 2. Inadequate.

What I do have is a desire to change and a commitment to keep learning new approaches to providing the best library program and materials to enable the students before me to succeed. That’s all I want others to have – a willing attitude to try new things and never be complacent that their program is good enough. My program is not good enough. I want to improve it. I’m willing to try something new. 

If you aren’t willing to try something new, you are just a placeholder and are endangered. You may even be endangering the rest of us in our profession. These are harsh words, but I want to help you. I’m here to listen to you. 

Most of you are silent in comments because, as one passed to me in a note "if I disagree, they might attack me". ARGH! Don’t be silent. You can be anonymous. Leave your comments on this blog. Use a pseudonym like roadblock1 or your#1hater or overwhelmed or simplytired. Wait, don’t use simplytired as your alias, because I may have to start using that one.

We must continue to explore, embrace, create, and collaborate with each other in our profession. If you aren’t moving and curious about what’s happening, you are a roadblock. That’s why I was suddenly overcome and the words slipped out that "if you aren’t willing to learn and try new things for the benefit of your students, get out of my profession." 

Begin the lambasting.  Some of my friends in the audience already did, but we deserve to have this conversation. 

It’s interesting that it comes at a time when Joyce Valenza, Doug Johnson, Beth Friese, Kathy Kleigman, Cathy Nelson, Buffy Holland, Sharron McElmeel, Nancy Everhart, and many other librarians that I respect are discussing these issues and attitudes. It’s a discussion that needs to occur.

Maybe if wild things like me make controversial statements once in a while, you will feel impelled to respond. Don’t be a scaredy cat!

Comments

  1. disgruntled says:

    I am a 55 year old SLIS grad student, working on the School Media Specialist Certification. So far, I’ve learned that I don’t want to be a School Media Specialist because of all the things you mention in your post. So, I will finish what I’ve started, then find a job doing something else in some other kind of library. I would rather be cataloging by hand in a basement somewhere than work with uncooperative teachers, with no budget for arguably, the most important program in the school. Carry on! Best wishes!

  2. Diane says:

    Aha! So there in lies the mystery. Even with all those obstacles, I still believe we do have the most important job in the school and that it is nearly paradise. Maybe we just have more than one snake.

  3. Tiffany says:

    I completely agree. Admittedly, I am a public librarian, but in any profession, if you are doing everything the exact same way you did it 20 years ago, you are out of a job. Librarians need to be aware and willing to use new technologies, read the latest books, and not be afraid to try! I hear all the time, “we already tried that, and it didn’t work.” Try it again! Maybe it will work now! If you just put some passion and sweat into the job, it will pay off. I completely agree with you opinion.

  4. OCHSlibrarian says:

    wow, that’s quite a comment by Disgruntled. Sadness. The School Media profession is excellent – fun – different every day – and it is a product of what you bring to the table. It’s positivity, salesmanship, drive, and fortitude. I love my HS LMS position. I love the changes and the growth. We are supposed to instill in our students the love of lifelong learning. If we ourselves are unwilling to model this, then you are in the wrong profession. Growth and change are positive forces.

  5. DeepSigh says:

    Diane, I love that you’re saying “you don’t have to do it all – but you have to do SOMETHING”! All too often I think we hear that if you’re not tweeting/blogging/on Facebook/embracing all that’s 2.0/participating in nings/circulating Kindles/who-knows-what-else and doing it NOW,you’re somehow a Bad School Librarian. And of course people get overwhelmed and tune out. Encouraging people to do a little something different, to expand their PLN by one contact or try reading 1-2 blogs, etc. will win more converts (the whole “fleas with honey” thing).

    Great post.

  6. methodology says:

    OK, maybe some anger management and then some people management skills are needed. Your way or the highway, huh? Poor you. You have inadequate resources, boo-hoo. Try working in much of the real world where there are NO resources, No internet , No projectors etc. The something we all do does NOT have to be tech. In case you didn’t know, books can move mountains.

  7. tell it says:

    Thank you, methodology, for saying what I wanted to say!! We often get told this or that is best for our profession. I care “what is the best I can do with what I have for these kids”.

  8. Ernie Cox says:

    We had a great summit thinking about the Framework for 21st Century Learning which bears a striking resemblance to the AASL Standards. These standards highlight the kind of learning environments students need for real success. My contribution to the panel was to discuss the role of the school librarian in Professional Learning Communities. If there are PLCs in your school or district you need to be there! School librarians are uniquely positioned to introduce new models of teaching and learning through the reflective practice of PLCs. We need to model and collaboratively plan for teaching that goes beyond the standardized test and offers formative, thoughtful learning experiences. This work takes time; it takes energy, and serious commitment. Why take this step if you’re not required to? It connects the school librarian directly to school improvement which impacts student achievement (hopefully). We, as a profession, want to be part of this effort – right? School librarians will have to stretch our thinking, expand our understanding, and branch out into new ventures to be central agents of educational change in the 21st Century. Those shy of adventure need not apply.

    There are potential obstacles to the PLC idea:
    Obstacle – I have no idea what a PLC is or what I would do in one.
    Opportunity – you’re a reader so study up, begin with a slim volume like “Getting Started: Reculturing Schools to Become Professional Learning Communities” by Eaker and DuFour. Or email me at ernest dot cox at gmail dot com. I’m working on a book for Libraries Unlimited about PLCs and the School Librarian. We can talk about what the opportunities might be for you.
    Obstacle – You are not assigned to a PLC.
    Opportunity – Find one that needs your expertise and show up. If they want to know what you’re doing tell them “I’m here to plan for learning. Where can we get started?” They will want your help.

    Obstacle – You don’t have time to attend – you’re all booked up.
    Opportunity – Cancel a class, get your assistant to teach (they need to teach right along with us), close the library and place a sign on the door “planning for learning with PLCs”.

    Obstacle – You cover the PLC time for other teachers.
    Opportunity – Enlist a parent volunteer to cover for you or better yet – lock the doors and close the library, if the physical space is a holding cell they don’t need a librarian.

    Other potential obstacles? Find a creative response.

  9. SARAH CHAUNCEY says:

    Hello Diane, The conversation is essential. As a library media specialist in a very supportive school, I’ve had the opportunity to present numerous workshops. The one entitled “Thrashing Towards the Digital Classroom: Rocks, Blocks and Friction” addresses the reasons behind the reluctance — and everyone has a story to tell. We have to listen to and appreciate these stories. Perhaps this is the most important step in writing new stories. Sarah Chauncey, Grandview Elementary School http://www.grandviewlibrary.org

  10. Wcarmich says:

    Diane,
    Thanks for picking up this vital conversation. I too believe that books can move mountains, if you have the right books. That doesn’t mean you have to forsake technology. It also doesn’t mean you have to dive in head first. We have teachers at our school who are of both types. The trick is being willing to try something. Pick one, two, or even three things to do over the course of a year and see how they work for you. If after a reasonable period of exploration, and resonable expectations, they don’t cause an improvement in reaching your goals, then stop and try something else.
    Whether you agree with the opinion in this blog, and for the record, I do, if you solely rely on books to justify your existence in an online world, your supervisors are going to be able to justify replacing you that much easier with someone who can stand behind a desk and scan barcodes.
    You MUST contine to evolve. Continue to challenge yourself and your students. Continue to grow, even if slowly.
    If you rely on the world of books solely, then you will find yourself further and further out of touch with students who use social networking tools and digital media as second nature and typically do so unethically as they don’t know any better. Whether you change and evolve or not, the world will continue to do so. Change or get out of the way of people who are willing to.
    If you lose your job due to not being indispensible, it’s no skin off my back. If you make my profession look irrelevant so that my job is jeopardized, then you become my problem and I will tell you to get out of my way for the good of the profession as a whole.

  11. Evelyn Bussell says:

    I totally agree!!! In William Arthur Ward’s words, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist waits for the wind to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” And of course, if the wind does not fill the sails, start paddling. Have these obstacle-ridden, stubborn, excuse-making colleagues of ours forgotten our mission as stated by AASL? “to advocate excellence, facilitate change, and develop leaders in the school library media field” Perhaps it is because I am “young” – in my 30′s – or because I’m only in my 8th year in school library media, or because I am at a school that supports collaboration and PLC’s that I believe we must be agents of change, that I must be an agent of change. However, I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s because of who I am, who we are – or should be – as school library media specialists. We must stay current, keep learning, model for our students, parents and staff. I’ve been at a school with high free & reduced population, on a completely fixed schedule with no budget, no planning, and no support; but that did not stop me. I worked with what I had, I looked for other resources and people outside my school to be a better librarian for my students and staff, and a better leader in my district, state and field. I’ve worked at a school where the money flowed freely and had low F&R population and high parent involvement – there were still obstacles and problems there too, but that didn’t mean I had any more or less excuses not to step out of the box, work to make my program and my profession the best it could be. I seek new ways to improve myself and my program every school year, even if it means stepping out of my comfort zone. We all know Rome wasn’t built in a day, so I take that to heart, knowing that my efforts, whether small or big, whether they change things over night or over the period of 5 years, that at least I am moving, and my program is improving and thus impacting my students. Because in the end, isn’t that what this is all about? Our impact on our students? Helping them to achieve? So, yeah, Diane is right, because after all, as Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

  12. Kelby says:

    Sometimes the truth hurts, but ignoring it is even worse, so please keep speaking the truth Diane. How ironic and disappointing that someone on a school librarian’s salary would spend their time and money to travel to Washington D.C. for a School Library LEADERSHIP Summit only to drag their heels about acting like a leader.

    I was also at the Leadership Summit and came away feeling energized, excited, and challenged. My head was swimming with ideas for building my repertoire of skills so that I can help my students be ready for the future. I didn’t need to go to the Summit to know that the (library) world I live in today doesn’t look anything like the (library school) world I trained in just 11 years ago. Staying afloat, much less riding these waves of change, isn’t quick, easy, or stress-free. Nor is it fair that some of us face much bigger obstacles than others. Yes, it is really HARD sometimes, but that’s not a good enough excuse for giving up, giving in, taking a back seat, or fading away.

    As for me, I’m where I am precisely because I love learning and I want my students to love learning too. I take pride in being a role model for my students. The minute I start powering back, my students will see that maybe their learning isn’t all that important either (or that the school library media center is pretty irrelevant to their needs).

    I want to be part of a growing, learning profession and not part of one that watches the world race by while sputtering about not having the time, the energy, or the interest to stay in the race. We congratulate ourselves on being a smart, helpful, and collaborative profession … we need to use these qualities to teach, encourage, support (and yes, sometimes drag) one another to keep our profession strong and growing.

  13. Diane says:

    To Methodology and tellit, Re-read and you’ll see that I never said to get rid of the books. I am passionate about the books. I advocate that we should be buying more nonfiction and fiction now than ever before for students to read. I am adamant on the importance of reading in print and online. Every student in my school knows you must check out and be reading books. I am not anti-book. I am passionate about positive learning and attitudes willing to change and try new things. I have 14 books on my bed, 30 on the bedside table, 3 bookcases in my bedroom, plus books in every room including the bathroom. I tuck books in my son’s car and in their duffle bags. Anti-books? Not me. Need of people skills. Okay, I’ll buy that.

  14. Anon says:

    In a school of 1100, with NO library clerk (as I tell the kids, “all me, all the time”), it would be easy to resign myself to a “woe is me” and simply continue with the status quo. I’m embarassed to admit that I did that for a few years because I didn’t know how to proceed with limited resources.

    Twitter, however, opened a new world for me. I developed relationships with people who were doing the things I dreamed about doing — developing more intensive programs, collaborating more with my collegues and working to provide better partnerships with my students.

    Do I feel overwhelmed at times? Definitely! Do I have more days where I feel empowered and face the day with a different type of enthusiasm? Heck yes! I’ve always loved what I do but looking outside the box and building other areas, while tiring, is also invigorating!

    I suggest taking baby steps. Develop and foster 1 collaboration. Work to learn 1 new piece of software that you believe will enhance your library programs. Yes, there will be times when you feel like you are trying to “sell” your ideas – but there will be buyers!

    Off to face a day of library fines and overdue books, student orientations and working to learn a new application for research that I think will add a new element to library programming. Another great day!

  15. tiredtoo says:

    “October 20, 2009
    In response to: “get out of my profession”
    Diane commented:
    “…………. Anti-books? Not me. Need of people skills. Okay, I’ll buy that.”

    Hey Diane – There’s a book for that! – Probably quite a few.

    But seriously, Thanks for challenging us all. Change doesn’t have to be drastic, it doesn’t have to happen overnight . Just try one small new thing. What would you say to a student who came to you for help, but rolled their eyes at your suggestion – whatever it might be? Wouldn’t you encourage them? and try to convince them to give it a try??

  16. Mayra Lazara Dole says:

    great post diane. i hope you never stop speaking your mind!

  17. RockOn says:

    Some quotes come to mind after reading this initial post:
    “Be the change you wish to see in the world” by Gandhi
    “Do the best you can with what you have wherever you are.” Teddy Roosevelt
    “Don’t matter if the horse is blind, load the wagon!” John Madden

  18. teacherninja says:

    I blogged about this on my teacherninjas.com site earlier this week. I think if teacher-librarians can’t embrace change, then you’re probably right about them not needing to continue being teacher-librarians.

    Thanks!

    PS and I think you probably meant Buffy Hamilton, the Unquiet Librarian?

  19. Diane says:

    Hey TeacherNinga! Great catch. I did mean Buffy Hamilton who is so amazing. Buffy Holland was a parent and substitute teacher at my elementary school before and a facebook friend.

  20. bookdiva says:

    I am so with you about bad attitudes. We are not saying people have to give up their entire lives. However, this is a profession not a job. WE cannot just put in our hours during the school day then leave and forget about it. Doctors, lawyers, and executives don’t. If we want to be treated like professionals, we have to grow as professionals.
    A comment for disgruntled. Please rethink your decision not to use your degree. I didn’t get into education until I was 35. Before that I worked in business, entertainment; I was even an animal tech. I am now 51, and I love going to work everyday. My budget has been dessimated; I am fundraising every way I can just to buy books; my clerk has so many other duties, she’s really half time, but then there are the kids who get excited about books, and who need help with research, and who come to the library if they are having a bad day because it’s a safe place. This is the best profession in the world, and we need to advocate for it.

  21. Susan E says:

    Diane,

    Thank you for this post. I read it right away and completely agreed, but even more so now after I just returned from my state librarian conference. One of the sessions I attended was on advocating for school libraries and how to be recognized by administrators, governing bodies, etc., and what challenges we face. Well, frankly, as I have seen in my own district and at this workshop, I believe one of the BIGGEST obstacles we face is the fact that a huge percentage of the people in our profession are the “stuck in the mud” librarians who just want to complain and who do NOT place teachers and students first. Ugh.

    I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THIS:
    “If you aren’t willing to try something new, you are just a placeholder and are endangered. You may even be endangering the rest of us in our profession.”

    How can we advocate for our profession in our state and national legislatures with people who aren’t considerate and giving of their time and willing to grow? We can point at the good we’ve done, and the legislators will point at the mean librarians in their school districts (we’ve all met them)…”Well, that’s not what the librarian in my town is like.”

    At the workshop today, we held a conversation about librarians losing jobs. And then one of the participants in the workshop had the gall to complain that she has posted “NO FOOD OR DRINK” signs all over the library, and she was so upset when a group met in the library and had food and drink. She even sent out an email afterwards to the whole staff reminding them of the rule! Argh! I wanted to quote you, Diane, “Get out of my profession.” We librarians cannot be so possessive of our space – turn that group’s meeting into a public relations opportunity for your library!

  22. Diane says:

    I agree with you. Imagine how I felt walking into the library 10 minutes late one morning because I had driven all the way downtown to borrow 5 Flip cameras only to find my assistant yelling at people and telling them they only had 4 minutes to check out a book. ARGHSH The problem is not just the librarians, but also the aides. We are judged by all people helping in a library.

  23. KarenL says:

    Thank you, Diane, for this post!
    As someone who could complain about much, I am choosing to rejoice in the fact that I have two volunteers helping me and another one asking to help! I am rejoicing that I have some students who are working on some global and other collaborative projects! I am a resource for teachers who need that book or website! I love my job, given the good and the bad. And, I MUST adapt to the education paradigm shifts or else. . .

  24. DebeA says:

    I will admit that as a veteran of 35 years in a variety of libraries, I was a bit taken aback by your comment. I DO get tired of teachers and librarians thinking that use of the latest technology is teaching. I call it the “bells & whistles” approach” and have seen it for years. We must remember that our teaching goals are not
    “use technology.” Our content may best be taught using these technology tools but we shouldn’t do it just because its cool or neat and “the kids will like it.”
    We should keep our educational goals firmly in mind and use the technology where it best fits the needs and learning styles of kids. To adopt a new
    technology just because it is new sidesteps the process of planning for
    specific educational goals. Education as a profession struggles with being a science, an art, a combination of both and often folks spend incredible amounts of time doing “cool stuff” that has no content. Let’s not let the media become the message in schools. It’s happening too much around us as it is!

  25. Diane says:

    To DebeA, I’m glad you were taken aback because it shows you are still reacting and learning. I am not advocating “technology” I am advocating “life-long learning” and being open to new ideas. As soon as educators stop trying new approaches, they can harm our profession. Think of faculty meetings where people say “We tried that technigue of DEAR or SSR and it didn’t work, so we won’t try it again.” I don’t have access to the new technology. You should see my sad state in my school. But I am advocating continual learning and adapting. I don’t have a perfect program but I’m still changing and trying. When I don’t see that, that’s when I start growling.

  26. MsReason says:

    I changed careers to get an MLS and become a school librarian at 35. It’s a profession that I love yet after 5 years in a rural, high poverty, low-tech district, I have found the day to day realities to be a great disappointment. Education is going through a terrible period right now–the current system is outdated and no longer works, but we seem to be locked into just tinkering with it because we are too frightened to make the big changes we need.

    It is also very isolating working as a librarian in a school–you are a fish out of water and teachers and most administrators have generally misinformed views about your role, range of responsibility, and what you can offer beyond merely managing resources. We are still seen as the ladies who stamp and shelve books.

    I’ve done a lot to add technology, resources, tools, new reading choices and increased access to my library and I enjoy learning about new things and bringing them to my work. I try to offer collaborative opportunities but so far have had few takers. My teachers like to stay in their bunkers.

    What really stinks, though, is the feeling that what we do is never enough because the anointed “library gurus” are always telling us we need to do more. I don’t think pointing fingers or creating a litmus test for “good librarians” is helpful. It would be better if the gurus would stop speaking to the choir and instead went to the national administrators’ and teachers’ conventions to tell them how awesome and important school librarians are and what we can really do. You have a certain status and authority–use it to make us look good and advocate for us, not to tear us down and flush out people you think are not up to snuff.

  27. Diane says:

    MsReason, I absolutely believe in getting out there with administrators and teachers. What I have seen happening is one bad experience with a librarian who no longer wants to be there can taint all of us. Their principal tells others “My librarian won’t do that or my librarian would never try that” and we are dismissed at the beginning.
    Excellent librarians and caring librarians, like yourself, work hard for our students and deserve higher status and authority. What would you say to the ones who give us a bad reputation?

  28. MsReason says:

    I would say a couple of things about a comment like that from the principal. One is that there is “deadwood” in every profession and within education at every level, yes, even (gasp)at the administrator’s level. This does not excuse the “old school” librarian who refuses to try anything new. The point is, this is a supervision issue.

    It may be extra visible if the librarian is behaving in this way because there is ONLY ONE per building, usually. This means the position is very important, not something to be dissed. How about finding out why the librarian isn’t doing those things and providing the necessary support to make it happen? Is it a training issue? Is he/she overwhelmed with the never-ending paperwork required by bean counters and secretaries? Do study halls dump their students in the library? Is the librarian’s schedule already full providing prep time for others? Has the library budget been cut repeatedly? Is the librarian given opportunity to get out of the library and network with teachers in curriculum and planning meetings? Chances are, the librarian isn’t dusting the shelves and reading mystery novels in place of podcasting and blogging.

    One thing I think it’s important to acknowledge is that all these new technologies have become and add-on to all the other library duties. Some of them make our jobs easier or more effective, but honestly some of them simply expand the number of things we need to be doing. I’m new at all this but I feel certain librarians were plenty busy before web 2.0 burst onto the scene. A smart administrator would empower the librarian (and the teachers struggle with this too) to let go of some of those older practices where they can, in order to adopt some of the new ones that will enrich their work.

  29. MsReason says:

    Also, I think we are getting a bit hysterical about our peers who “don’t keep up.” We are so paranoid about how others perceive us! The sad truth is, other educators really aren’t considering the library and the librarian much at all. We are scapegoating people in our own profession because we feel insecure in general.

    This is why I feel we need to focus on advocacy reaching out to our non-librarian colleagues. Beyond that, we can only do the best we can as individuals and network with like-minded librarians. We can’t waste energy getting worked up about librarians that don’t pass our constantly changing test of currency.

  30. Kelly Smith says:

    Way to go Diane! I’ve alwyas had so much respect for all your hard work to create better school libraries across the country. Courage is definitley needed to speak our minds on issues that are important to all of us in this fulfilling profession. As I read about school libraries being closed across the country, I wonder what could have prevented this from happening. It makes me strive towards always learning, trying new stuff, building relationships, and being the one stop place for everything in my middle school. Do I always succeed? No! I’ve had many failures. But you know, my teachers have never been distressed with the failures when they feel like we’re working together to do the best we can for students. Isn’t this the purpose of all educators?

    Boy, I LOVE my job! It’s the hardest challenge I’ve ever taken on. Thanks for reminding me to keep going in new directions even when they don’t go as planned. Many times they’ll lead me to something even better than I could imagine!

  31. Angela S says:

    I agree it is frustrating and often totally disheartening to always be trying to fit all we want to into our working hours – and have to admit a lot of my life-learning process goes on outside of my part time paid hours as a librarian in a primary school in New Zealand – years 0-6 .
    Some things I have learned are:
    - to build alliances and common interests and have discussions with whoever will listen! Eventually something new or positive comes out of it. I don’t have a plan for this- it just happens when an appropriate moment arrives or someone asks a question or I am burning with resolve to get something sorted. We used to have a library committee of interested teachers which met every 3 months which is no more – one of my aims is to reestablish this.
    - think about strategies and plans and communicate them to the Principal and other administrators even if they don’t ask for them, and ask for their advice sometimes when you are stuck.
    Don’t expect them to come up with anything revolutionary as they are horribly busy already with their own preoccupations and changes, but appreciate that they make the effort
    - you are probably way ahead of them with web 2.0 and technology
    - ask to speak and collaborate at Professional development days[we commonly call these teacher only days, they should be 'staff only days' and include concerns for non-teaching staff.] Now that is hard going but this year I joined in with an evening on planning special topics – SOLO taxonomy – which was very useful
    - try and find out what is planned and what is happening in the school before it happens
    - try and pick one biggish project per year and as many subsidiary ones as you can handle, analyse , don’t overdo it. e.g. this year my big project was Book Week celebration and my smaller one was educating myself about e-books [we are a few years behind you in provision of e-readers and in access to lending schemes- companies like Overdrive are not used in schools yet],
    - another year it was applying for a grant from a charity and remodeling the library space
    - show you are 100% interested in what you do and offer any service which would/could be useful – they won’t all be seen as useful at first
    - show you enjoy your job most of the time but it’s fair enough to be disgruntled now and then,
    - bite your tongue a fair bit when you think their or the student’s behaviour in your workspace is out of order or you are not considered or informed about certain things
    but do keep some consistent standards , e.g. appropriate uses for the library – not for any old thing that couldn’t be fitted into another room or time slot.
    From my point of view I am not hired or paid to carry out information literacy teaching but I can be informed, seek out resources and discuss what might work best
    -technology is supposed to be your slave, not the other way round, so seek solutions to make it work for your situation.
    And the issue of school librarians losing jobs and libraries being pretty much closed down – too late by the time it happens; sometimes it depends on the way the school is run – if it is largely autocratic with one person making or being the driver of all the big decisions then there is usually no way of stopping it. If the school has some measure of shared decision making and the library’s role is always seen as important /relevant, etc then usually funding continues. Keep networking!

  32. authortobe says:

    As a writer, substitute teacher, parent, and concerned vocal citizen, I am heartened by the proactive attitudes and approaches expressed here. I have experienced the nay-sayers and, given my druthers, would limit their access to children. No job in education is easy: nothing worth doing is. Thank you all for your committment.

  33. Davida Grudzinski says:

    Simply profound. I had no idea.