Sunday, 5 August 2012

Is Your School Librarian 'Highly Qualified'?

Is Your School Librarian ‘Highly Qualified’?

“When teachers and library media specialists collaborate, differentiated instruction becomes more feasible, and student achievement rises” (Kaplan, 2007. P.300).

Kaplan’s article is a clear exposition of the skills a highly qualified teacher- librarian should have.

This is certainly one of the most thought provoking articles I have read to date. It has got me thinking about what the children at my school could be learning and how as a teacher I can begin this learning shift.

When I have finished this course, I will be proud to add “Teacher-Librarian” to my qualifications. It not only reflects the time and effort I put into studying and furthering my education and skills, it recognises the skills I have as a Teacher- Librarian.

The article posed four questions for me.

1. Are Teacher-Librarians really aware of their role (and their potential) in a school community?

2. Do classroom teachers know what the role of the Teacher-Librarian is in their school?

3. Do classroom teachers know about the skills a Teacher-Librarian has?

4. Is the Teacher-Librarian letting his/her colleagues know about these skills?

As I have mentioned in another post, being a Teacher-Librarian is not just about the books.  
The diagram below uses information drawn from Kaplan’s article (2007, p.301). 
This is a snapshot of the areas of responsibility a Teacher-Librarian has. Perhaps a fourth bubble could be added titled “communication specialist”, whereby the Teacher-Librarian needs to hold skills in communication, public relations and marketing.

The question is “Is your school librarian ‘highly qualified’? 

Does your school librarian/school library media specialist engage in the activities described above?

Research is telling us that if they don’’s time they did.


KAPLAN, A. G. (2007). Is Your School Librarian 'Highly Qualified'?. Phi Delta Kappan, 89(4), 300-303.

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