Friday, September 25, 2015

It's Not Your Library

I am a lucky librarian!  I work in a gorgeous, air conditioned two-story 5,000 square foot space.  My administration has always been super supportive and I have spent almost $100,000 of grant money renovating my library.  I have a full-time assistant!  I am never micro-managed, my suggestions are given serious consideration, and my requests are frequently not only met, but exceeded.  Every year has been better than the one before in regards to getting what I need to make my program soar.

In short, I have been very very happily spoiled.

I grew accustomed to always getting what I wanted for my library.  Not in a petulant way.  It was just my normal.

However, this year, things changed.  Things changed without my input.  Things changed that had absolutely nothing to do with me or what would work best for MY library.  Protestations fell on deaf ears and I'm ashamed to admit, I was a little shocked.

I'm sharing this story not because I think my administration made the wrong call.  It's the exact opposite.  I think they made the right call!  They chose what would best serve our students as a whole; not what would just serve my library.  But that can be a hard lesson.

Dear Sucky Librarian

The following blog post is an homage to Dear Sucky Administrator, written by Tony Sinasis on his blog, Leading Motivated Learners, which you can find here.  This is the librarians’ version. Thank you Tony for the inspiration.
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Dear Sucky Administrator Librarian,

I am sorry for the choice of words, but you know who you are and you are pretty sucky at your work as an educator and specifically as an information leader.

You are the librarian who gives the rest of us a bad name. You are the librarian who perpetuates the "mean librarian" feeling that permeates many a school community. You are the librarian who creates a "Fortress Library" and sends the message to students and teachers that you are not interested in collaborating, sharing or being transparent about your practices. You are the librarian who spends more time in the back office fixing books, cataloging, and doing "important" work instead of being in classrooms and interacting with students and staff. You are the librarian who does not value relationships with the people around you and is only focused on shhhhhshing people, saying no, and protecting your precious books. You are the librarian who doesn't foster a sense of trust in your school. Basically, you are sucky at your job because you have lost the focus on what matters most in education - KIDS!

Fortunately, it is not too late to turn yourself around and go from sucky to at least halfway decent. Here are some things to avoid in your attempt to exit "sucky-ville"...