Monday, January 28, 2013

Myth #10 - All Librarians are Created Equally

Note: Like so many, my 2012 ended in reflection over the events during my first semester at a new school and 2013 began with a review of my Library Action Plan.  As I pondered how to ensure my next steps take the library program in the direction I truly want to be leading, those thoughts collided with a blogpost that I had been chewing on for several weeks.  Thus, I busted….

 Myth #10: All Librarians are Created Equally

At one point in my last district, there were only three certified librarians, each working at a different school.   
  • One of us was a secondary English teacher and a master of literacy.
  • Another had a background in science and was the tech guru of us three.
  • The third started teaching in elementary grades and had a passion for the research process.
We were all very different, yet we shared a very common purpose in our work with students.  Mind you, we all three tackled tasks in all areas of librarianship, with some roles coming more naturally to one or another of us.  We often laughed about our differences, and joked what a team we could make if we all three worked on the same campus. 

Three different backgrounds, three different focuses, but one passion.  

As fellow librarians, we have so much to teach and learn from each other.  

Are you learning from your colleagues?  Or do you see those differences as a threat to your comfort zone?

All Librarians are NOT Created Equally  

As individuals, we bring our unique strengths, weaknesses, and personal interests to the circ desk and build a library program uniquely ours.  We collaborate, teach lessons, build collections, implement programs... make our mark... create a reputation.  And when we move on, due to choice or age or budget cut backs, we leave a particular gap, as unique as our individual fingerprints. 

As I reviewed my mission statement and goals at this mid-point in the year, I was struck by a question that refocused my work and made my vision crystal clear:  

What will be my legacy?

I began to ponder:  At former schools, what was I known for?  What do past students and coworkers remember about my work?  What mark did I leave? And most importantly, was it what I was trying to accomplish?

Teresa Schauer is known for her passion for book trailers...
Mr. Schu is breathing life back into Newbery classics…
Joanna Fountain made her mark through cataloging and subject headings…
Toni Buzzeo has authored books to help us teach library and information skills…

The librarian I replaced this year was a gifted storyteller.  He frequently incorporated music and singing in his lessons, and it is what everybody misses about him.

Another librarian I knew called herself a “Rehab Librarian” for her ability to rejuvenate aging libraries... ruthlessly weeding badly outdated collections, rearranging shelving and furniture, and creating a fresh, inviting environment before moving on to another “old” library.

What are your strengths? Which weaknesses are you going to commit to strengthening this year?

Where do your specialties lie? Who do you know with a different specialty you can learn from?

What kind of librarian are you? What legacy will YOU leave behind?


  1. What a touching blog post!! This has really made me reflect and think about where I am and where I want to go! Thanks for sharing!

  2. My colleagues and I are working on a Sacred Cow presentation so we have enjoyed reading your Mythbusters posts. My specialties lie in reaching boys and serving low income students. My super middle school colleagues and I work so well together. They have strengths in creating graphics, copyright law and lots of other things that I rely on them for.