I spent three days in Greenville this week for the 2012 SCASL Conference. Since returning home, my head has been spinning! I took in an incredible amount of information, met wonderful people and was amazed and impressed with all the fabulous happenings throughout the libraries in South Carolina. In fact, had I not completed my lesson plans for this week before leaving for the conference, I would have an extremely difficult time figuring out how to narrow it down!
I had the opportunity to listen to various topics throughout the conference; topics focusing on the importance of reading...advocating... researching...collaborating...collection development...using technology...and even laughing! The conference has caused me to do a great amount of thinking the past few days. Questions have come up, such as: Where should the focus be in my learning commons? How can I do more collaborative projects? If I can't collaborate, will the teachers at least let me borrow the kids so I can do these wonderful things? However, the #1 question I have been pondering this weekend is: What exactly is my job?
I know the school librarian wears many hats; I completed that project during my studies. I mean, come on, our roles are so vast, our name keeps changing! This summer I worked on writing a curriculum for our distict. I even found a book on my shelves called The Media Specialist. Yet, I still can't figure out exactly what I am supposed to be doing. (I did get a good laugh when it said that "sometimes she even reads to her students.") All I keep picturing are the different "What People Think I Do" pictures circulating the web. I found one for teachers and another for librarians, but neither really portrays the school teacher-librarian. What would this look like? How would it encompass the reading, advocating, researching, collaborating, etc... we do every day?
Not sure what the answers are and don't expect to be able to really answer it anytime soon. So from here, I will continue to do as I have: taking a little bit of this and a little bit of that to meet the needs of the clients who visit the learning commons. I will continue to offer professional development opportunities for teachers, continue to reach out to collaborate with them, continue to provide materials that match the curriculum, and continue to make the BLC a place they want to go (yes, chocolate helps, too!). I will continue to offer and expand the offerings of thought-provoking and challenging projects for my students, continue to introduce authors and books to instill the love of reading, continue to purchase new books based on what they love to read, and continue to make the BLC a place they want to go. In addition, I will continue to offer additional programs, such as the news show, reading incentive programs, web 2.0 tools and more.
So yes, I will continue doing all the things I enjoy doing, the things that make my job the best of any, the things that make the students and teachers want to visit and spend free time in the Bethel Learning Commons. I will continue to do all of those things while attempting to answer the question regarding the role of the school librarian. Or wait, perhaps, maybe, I already have...