LM_NET: Library Media Networking

Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

Now that school is out I finally got time to read some of my issues of
Knowledge Quest.  I was especially interested in Doug Johnson's article in
the March/April issue asking why librarians need support people.  In his
article he defines two types of busy media specialists -- one who is
constantly troubleshooting and repairing computers, checking out books,
compiling overdue lists, and performing other clerical duties.  The other
one is working with students and teachers, teaching classes, and
participating in curriculum development and staff workshops.

Unfortunately I find myself to be the first type of media specialist.
Although my job description, which was written many years ago, has no
mention of technology, our system seems to think that media specialists can
walk into the role of technology expert with no thought as to how the media
center program itself will suffer.  I have a part-time clerk which means
that I still have to check out books, compile overdue lists, etc.  What
bothers me (and is a teacher complaint) is that I am out of the media center
quite a bit of time to help teachers with technology.  I even have teachers
rudely interrupt classes to demand that I come and see what is wrong with
their equipment "right now."  Up until this year I was also the yearbook
advisor, which fortunately, was assigned to a language arts teacher.

Even though we are installing wiring and cabling this summer and putting a
computer lab in each school (this is one time I'm glad I have an extremely
small media center) the system is providing no extra personnel for
maintaining the network and labs.  The computer lab will be housed in
another wing in our building.  I have already talked with my principal
suggesting that someone else be named as technology coordinator next year.
I will provide instructions in the teacher and library handbooks on what to
do when equipment fails and another teacher and I are planning to conduct a
workshop at the first of the school year to show teachers how to do simple
troubleshooting techniques before calling for help.  Our district also
provides free workshops on computer troubleshooting.

My principal did agree to this so next year the only technology I will be
responsible for will be the media center computers and the Accelerated
Reader program.  Maybe then I can be the second type of media specialist who
works with the students and teachers to promote reading and study skills.

Thank you, Doug, for opening my eyes.  I do plan to give a copy of this
article to my principal.
Madeline L. Buchanan, Library Media Specialist
W. J. Christian School, Birmingham, Alabama  35206
Phone (205) 838-7666 or 838-7673
Fax (205) 838-7622

Progress is slow because nothing is ever invented and perfected at the same

    All postings to LM_NET are protected under copyright law.
To quit LM_NET (or set-reset NOMAIL or DIGEST), send email to:
 listserv@listserv.syr.edu         In the message write EITHER:
 3) SET LM_NET MAIL  * Please allow for confirmation from Listserv
 For LM_NET Help & Archives see:  http://ericir.syr.edu/lm_net/

LM_NET Archive Home