Monday, November 18, 2013

The Need for School Librarians

Four out of the five of us were in Connecticut this week for the annual conference of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in Hartford. I imagine we all might be posting our ruminations over the next few days. An article posted on Thursday on School Library Journal's website captures the dilemma the city of Hartford and other communities in Connecticut face: a dearth of certified school librarians to provide students with access to books and teachers with the support they need for books and digital texts that can be used in units of study. I heard my own version of this dilemma from a former student teaching in Connecticut.

Just as I was beginning the session that I was moderating, I happened to notice a woman sit down on the end of one of the aisles, a librarian with whom I worked for years in suburban New York City. As a teacher educator speaking to a room full of librarians, it was particularly rewarding to have in that room two librarians from two different public schools in different states in which I've taught. I know I couldn't, and can't, do the work that I do without collaborating with librarians. As districts across the nation try to make the switch to the Common Core Standards, I hope more can look not at the latest "something" that they can buy, but rather, at how they can build capacity within schools by creating and fostering a climate of collaboration between administrators, teachers, literacy coaches, and school librarians.

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