21st Century School Librarians in District Administration


I was a little nervous when I read the subtitle of the recent article in District Administration magazine, “Transitions to Digital Media: Are School Libraries on the Way Out?”  And when I saw the phrase, “if your school librarians are feeling beleaguered . . ” I wondered if I was about to read about how librarians are less necessary with all the tools and apps and technologies of today’s world.

But I started to relax when I noticed comments from advocates and leaders within our profession, including AASL President Susan Ballard, a mention of David Loertscher’s coining of the term, “learning commons,” and these school library leaders and their dynamic advocacy efforts with and for students, teachers, and community:

  • Connie Williams, teacher librarian at Petaluma High School in the Petaluma (Calif.) City Schools
  • Anna Koval from Casa Grande High School, also of Petaluma (Calif.) City Schools
  • Shannon Miller, librarian and technology specialist at Van Meter (Iowa) Community Schools

The tasks and responsibilities of 21st-century school librarians are portrayed as critical to student learning.  Instructional technology is presented as a dimension of the school librarian’s role, possibly one to continue building as an information and education professional but not something in the purview of some other job entirely, which sometimes worries me when I read about technology coaches and instructional technologists.

There’s even a new phrase to add to your advocacy repertoire, from Marcie Post, executive director of the International Reading Association (IRA), who (in the article) calls school librarians,

“’digital age lynchpin[s],’ more important than ever to maintaining the integrity of information so integral to teaching and learning.”

Here’s the link to the article, by Susan McLester: http://www.districtadministration.com/article/transitions-digital-media

Hat tip to Mary Braney, for sharing this article on the MSLA Listserv!

–Rebecca Morris

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