Missing the point?
Posted by lpearle on 20 January 2010
During the ISS meeting during AASL’s All-Committee, the resolution on changing our title back to “school librarian” was read. The entire table cheered (although, as Kristin says, “It feels like a visit from Obviousman”).
I have no idea. Seriously, you’d think they didn’t like the idea of reclaiming a title (and a space designation) that ties us in with every other MLS in our profession. I mean, where was the Library Media Center of Congress*? Go to any major university and find the Library Media Specialist on the faculty listing. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
All those complaining that it brings us back to an old stereotype, that it reinforces our status as “staff” not “faculty”, blah blah whiny blah – get over it. Talk with any tenured librarian at Harvard (or Penn State) and they’re not all angsty that they’re not “Professor”. It’s up to each of us, in our buildings and with group advocacy, to make sure our schools, parents and students know our true worth.
Trust me, they’re applying old, outdated stereotypes to all of us, from law to corporate to archives to school to public. It’s not about where, it’s about how. Would being a “teacher-librarian” be better? Only if we don’t want to have to spend time explaining that we aren’t a librarian for teachers only. Only if we once again want to separate what we do from what others in our profession do.
Providing excellent service, being as forward thinking and moving as possible, keeping up with the profession (but remember, it’s ok to have an outside life, too), and creating links to the community so that you have their support during difficult times is the way to change those stereotypes. I’m betting that in mk‘s school, or Liz‘s school, or Jen‘s school (and I could go on and on) there isn’t a population that thinks “librarian = bun, sensible shoes, lipstick on the teeth, sweaters and ill-fitting skirts”
Obsessing about a name change is missing the point.
Besides, it lessens the confusion when you look at a school’s website and find this.
(*sorry, can’t claim credit for that one, it’s been around for a while)