Lamb & Johnhson (2008) ask some questions that really made me ponder – in particular – how to you allow for all of the variations in what teacher librarians/media specialists/school library media specialists look like when so little of it is written down and so much of it has evolved not only through individual school or school district needs or the skills and interests of the staff themselves? Yes, school libraries are changing, and yes, they are more than book collections, and yes, I agree with the three roles defined by Lamb & Johnson of collaborator, teacher leader and technologist. In saying this, I need to say that I prefer them in that order as well! As a collaborator I am getting to explore this role as my T/L fraction is only 0.5 and my other 0.5 is Head of Curriculum. I am seeing every day how the two roles merge together and wonder why they have not been a combined role before. I guess the answer is in some schools they have. In my school, the role of T/L has changed significantly based on different staff that have held the role and has moved quite significantly into a vital role in the provision of training and support to both teachers and students, and providing advice on the use of equipment and supporting teacher forays into areas that they might not be as comfortable with. This is clearly a leadership role. As a technologist the role is on an upward and steep learning curve for many T/L’s. As a hub of information literacy, particulary in a primary setting, it is logical that the library and the teacher librarian expand into this role. At our site we now have a Resource Centre that houses our library collection. This is a subtle change that is gradually influencing the way staff and students see both the building and the capacity for its use. It is making the physical “library collection” only one part of the information that can be accessed through the centre.
lamb, a. and l. johnson (2008). “school library media specialist 2.0: a dynamic collaborator, teacher, and technologist.” Teacher Librarian 36(2): 74-78.