California TeacherGuy wants to know why I wrote that I'm not a typical librarian. Hmmmm...let me think about that.

First and foremost, when you think of an elementary school librarian, you think of a female. That I am not. If you picture an elementary school librarian, you certainly don't think of me. Many people would picture an older person, hair up in a bun, cat-eyed glasses, long skirt, and someone who preaches silence in the library. While that image may certainly be changing, I still think it's out there. When people have asked me over the years what I do, I often hear something similar to "That's great - we need more men in the elementary schools." I've always loved working with the younger students rather than high school kids. (I spent several years as a high school tennis coach for both boys and girls teams)

Back to the library thing. Most people who enter the profession I'm in, do it because they love literature. I did not. Now, I'm not a book hater, it's just that I'm not into the book part of the job as most librarians are. Many of my colleagues probably cringe at that statement, but it's the truth. When I hear many of the other librarians in my district talking about the great children's books they read or ordered, I certainly feel like I don't know what I'm doing. In addition, I don't read books. I enjoy reading magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. With that being said, one of the best feelings I get with this teaching position is finding a book I think a student will enjoy, getting that book into their hands, and then hearing how much fun they had reading it. That's a feeling I can't get enough of. I do know that I have a long way to go as far as my knowledge of books. I feel I order great stuff for my students and compliment the curriculum in my school well, but that love of literature just isn't there. Maybe over time it will grow.

I entered this profession for the technology. I have always loved working with technology and have been pretty good at helping students learn through the use of it. It's a great tool when used correctly. After getting my Master's degree in Educational Computing, I wanted to do more with technology than I could teaching third grade. Hence, the change to the library. In my district, the librarian (or media specialist) is also in charge of teaching technology to all students. I have each grade level (kindgergarten through sixth grade) for one hour per week. Within that hour, we do the book thing and then head to the computer lab for the rest of the tine. This is the part I love.

I guess another reason I'm not the typical librarian is how I answer the question "What do you do?" Almost every librarian will say, "I'm a librarian" and be proud of it. Me, not really. My usual response is something like, "I run the library and teach the technology classes to all of the students." Why do I answer this way? Maybe it's because saying I'm a librarian makes me sound like a geek and I don't want people to think that. (This is starting to sound like therapy!) Perhaps it's because the position for me is so much more than just the librarian. My library isn't a dusty, dingy, place where you walk in, keep your mouth shut, and get a book. I want the place to be a special room in our school where you need to be. I want students to come in, find something to read, learn something, and have a good time. I don't want my library to be like libraries used to be. I want my library to be different and I want to be a different librarian.

2 comments

  1. rookie teacher // January 24, 2007 at 5:44 PM  

    Hey, thanks for commenting on my blog!

    I think that it's great that you're not a typical librarian. Education needs people like you who can change things up and keep things fresh.

  2. happychyck // January 28, 2007 at 12:18 AM  

    Well, that explains it all! It is very surprising that you don't enjoy literature, but I suppose you can relate to a lot of students--and adults--on that matter. My own husband reads a lot, but you'll never catch him reading a novel. He does a good job reading the kids bedtime stories, but I just know when they get older he'll probably be reading to them out of the 2600 or something.

    I look forward to reading your blog!

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