Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NY Times Article

Yesterday on the front page of the NYT there was an article about the "new" school librarians.

The article was a good promotion of what we do and why we are important in a school, BUT it portrayed the media specialist they interviewed, Stephanie Rosalia, as an exception rather than the rule of what a media specialist does in schools these days. As teacher ninja said in his post about it " there is no bad publicity" and I do agree about that, I just wish they had interviewed more than one school media specialist so the readers would see that "we" as a profession are a valuable asset to schools and that media specialists like Ms. Rosalia can be found in many schools these days.

What really got me through, was the comments about the article on NYT.com. One that had me thinking all day long was from poster suenoir who claimed to be a school board director. Her comments include ramblings about how schools should use the public libraries. Here is a quote from the end of her comment:

"If teachers used the public libraries, imagine what could be done with the space now occupied by the library. What if it were a music room? An engineering lab? Students have access to a librarian at public libraries, they do not have access to so many other resources. We need to rethink how money is spent in the schools."

I was so mad after I read that, I think I had STEAM coming out of my ears. YES the public libraries are great and we would LOVE to partner with them anytime, but, many students do not have access to public libraries and what I do is more than provide books, I TEACH, which public librarians do not do on a regular basis to whole classes (public librarians, please don't take offense to that, yes I know you teach people everyday, just not to 26 kids at a time, usually).

I guess what surprised me the most about many of the comments was that many people, educated people, do not know what we (media specialists) do everyday. I would love to invite suenoir, whoever she is, to hang out in a school media center one day and see what life is really like in there. Another comment said that the school library should be the heart of a school and I tend to agree. At my school we are in the center of the school and most days, I DO feel like we are the heart of the school.

I invite any of those NYT commenters to come spend a day with me and see that we DO make a difference in educating our children.


Amy said...

Bravo! I agree with your comments 100%. I also feel parents do not have time to drive their children to the public library for each school project. The public librarians do not differentiate intsruction the way certified teachers do. With the information that these children are presented with on a daily basis, it is necessary to have certified media specialist TEACH them how to navigate through it all. The library needs to be the heart of the school and your post will serve as a call to librians to voice all they do in their school libraries.

Teacherninja said...

Good for you! I didn't read all the comments. Thanks for the update.

Yeah, I wasn't in love with the article, but SO many people don't seem to get what we do that it's nice to have some coverage out there, even this ham-fisted kind.