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Hmmm, after reading Barbara's insightful comments, I thought of a good analogy that 
school boards and principals should be able to identify with: 

Hand them a hammer, and tell them this hammer has built the finest building in your 
city --- well, actually, the person using the hammer built the finest building in 
your city. And then challenge THEM to make that same building, using that same 
hammer. Should be easy, right? 

Oh, wait --- you mean it's the PERSON that builds it that matters, not just the 

Books and shelves and databases are only some of the tools we utilize. What good 
does any tool do in the hands of someone who doesn't know how to use it? Would you 
trust the same builder to use a scalpel on your skull?  

Remind them that it takes a builder to build, a doctor to perform surgery, and a 
librarian to run a library. Different jobs, all valuable when used correctly.

Wow, I think I can preach this one! Do I hear an amen this Easter Sunday?

Liz Frame
San Antonio, TX

--- On Sat, 4/3/10, Barbara Braxton <barbara.288@BIGPOND.COM> wrote:

From: Barbara Braxton <barbara.288@BIGPOND.COM>
Subject: Re: [LM_NET] models for unstaffed libraries-rant
Date: Saturday, April 3, 2010, 3:49 PM

Maybe I am one of those "Australian rednecks" that comedian Robin Williams
spoke about on someone's late -night show last week, but I would refuse to
provide any sort of model. I can't see that that is in any way your

Let those who made the decision figure out the solution, because that is the
only way they are going to learn, understand and value the importance of
qualified staffing.

The library I used to work in is going the way of the one that Lisa
described -brand new when the school was built in 1996, recognised as best
practice till 2006 and steadily declining with only a clerical assistant
there for 50% of the time.  The irony is that when it was at its peak the
school picked up a national $10 000 award for its literacy program; now the
school is not making the national average in literacy in national tests for
Years 3 and 5.

What these short-sighted administrators need to understand is that libraries
are not all about the collection that the building houses - they are about
the services offered by the people who hold the keys to unlocking the
collection..  A book or DVD or whatever is an inanimate object with very
little value beyond the cost of its construction - it is only given value
when someone with the skills to use it effectively and efficiently chooses
to do so.

Let your administrators work that out through having to solve the problem
THEY have made for themselves by themselves. 


Barbara Braxton
Teacher Librarian
Together, we learn from each other

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