School Librarian Jobs

There is much more to the school librarian’s job than stacking and checking out books. In fact, school librarians are commonly referred to as library media specialist now since they help students and teachers navigate through the wealth of resources available in the 21st century.

Educational requirements for school librarians vary according to the state. Each state has a prescribed certification process. It is common for a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field to be required in addition to a master’s degree in library science. Most master’s programs take a year to two to complete. Specialties, like children’s services, are available. Other states require a bachelor’s degree in addition to a certificate or license in library science.

Most school librarians are paid according to the pay scale used for other certified positions like teachers and guidance counselors. In addition, the position is typically unionized in the public schools. With many librarians having a master’s degree, the average salary for elementary and secondary librarians is US$54,650 according data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

The school library media specialist is an important teacher for the students. In today’s society the ability to effectively research a topic using a wide variety of up-to-date, credible sources is a vital skill. The librarian must instruct students on the various types of resources available in the library and beyond. He must work to make sure students can eventually locate the sources independently. Then, instruction is needed to teach students how to appropriately utilize the sources. This instruction may be provided during a set library time students attend or it may be in collaboration with a teacher’s class.

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Information technology has become a central part of the school librarian’s job. She must be well-versed in online resources and distance education opportunities. Librarians share their information technology not only with the students but also with the teachers. The library media specialist is an expert in incorporating information technology into the classroom. In addition, the school librarian provides and refers teachers to insightful professional development opportunities.

Librarians frequently collaborate with teachers to design research-based projects for students. The librarian should help the teacher guide students to a variety of credible sources. Library media specialists must be comfortable users of technology and stay current with the newest resources available.

The school librarian must know the range in ability level of the students who use the library. Books must be carefully chosen to update the library. A school library should have a wide variety of books that meet the diverse interests and reading levels of the students. The librarian must also balance the needs of the students with budget constrains.

At times, the school librarian may be overwhelmed by the number of tasks that must be completed to make the library run smoothly. In addition lesson plans for large group activities and time for individualized help are needed.

Nonetheless, when the job feels overwhelming, someone in the school will let the librarian know what an important role she has in creating an environment of life-long learning.

Check the following resource for additional information.

American Association of School Librarians

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