School Librarians...They're Not Just 'Hanging Out @ The Library'

Librarian Cathy Collins writes in the Santa Rosa, CA Press Democrat: I have worked in public schools for 14 years now, just “hanging out in the library,” as one Santa Rosa trustee recently summed it up, with students in grades pre-K through 12.

Unfortunately, the role of a school librarian is frequently misunderstood. Like custodians, cafeteria workers and campus security staff, much of our work takes place behind the scenes. Though school librarians have master's level training in best educational practices, we are not assigned official classes, nor do we test or grade students.

The way I see it, every student is my student. I am responsible for ensuring that every student I serve graduates with highly developed critical thinking skills, an appreciation for literature and the knowledge of how to effectively locate and evaluate information from both print and electronic sources. In a nutshell, I am a specialist in information literacy. School librarians collaborate with teachers, administrators and staff to ensure that students are efficient and effective users of ideas and information.

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