Barb at Multitype Librarian posted yesterday about yet another local school who has eliminated their school media center specialist. This is happening more and more, and it’s appalling. But I’m not surprised.
I am of the firm belief that the school media folks did themselves an immense disservice when they decided (I’m not sure when) to rename themselves School Media Specialists, and the school library the Media Center.
I assume that the reasoning was that libraries were more than just books and the librarians were doing more than just checking out books. Fair enough.
The problem is, no one knows what a School Media Specialist IS. When I entered the library biz, I started hearing the term. My first reaction was confusion. What does the media specialist do? Help the librarian? I was gently informed that the school media specialist is the librarian.
They had renamed themselves. And thereby obscured who they are and what they do, virtually guaranteeing that no one would have any compunction about eliminating them. Frankly, the first time I heard the title, I thought that person was the A/V guy. Showing my age, I know…..but the people on the school boards ARE MY AGE.
We all know what a librarian is and what they do. (Mostly. But that’s another post.) But when you obscure the issue by calling yourself a School Media Center Specialist, you confuse the issue. A school board member might think twice about getting rid of The Librarian. The A/V Guy? Anyone can do that.
The horse is out of the barn now, so I don’t know how difficult it would be to change things back to the way they used to be. But if I were in a school now, by God, I’d be The Librarian and I’d work in the School Library.