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Dear LM_Net,

This discussion has been a common reframe of school librarians for a long
time, and I don't think we'll ever not stop hearing from uninformed people
about our role.  Smile sweetly and educate your students, staff and parents.
And continue to demonstrate your worth to all your patrons.  This is best
comeback you can make to inform people of your worth.

Back in the 1980s I worked for a school district where 93% of our high
school students went on to college.  Education status was big for our junior
high students as they perceived the more educated you were the more
important you were in the hierarchy of the school.

I would always get questions from students asking about my education
background, or what educational training it took to become a school
librarian.  They were always surprised to hear that I needed an
undergraduate degree in another subject, a teaching certificate, and a
master's degree in library and information science before I could be hired
by the district.  There eyes would grow large and they would say, "But that
is way more schooling than my classroom teachers."  And I would reply, "Yes
it is."  This would force these students to re-evaluate my position in the
school.  They were a lot more respectful of my work after our conversation.

P.S.  I also display my diplomas and academic awards in my office, so
visitors can get an idea why the district hired me.

Peter G. Mohn, B.A., M.S., A.B.D.
Glacier Peak High School
Snohomish, WA 98296

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