Whatever you call them, those folks who work in our libraries and media centers are amazing.
And you should be paying more attention to them.
From an early age my Mother instilled in me the value of reading. I was read to constantly as a child. I was surrounded by books. As an only child with an absent Father my Mother would spend great deal of time with me, usually at a library. Some of my earliest memories are in libraries looking through books or going to storytime.
As I got older my love of reading waned, mostly because of one teacher who required us to read what she wanted us to. I wasn't into Monster Trucks or Sports. I liked stories. And it was a Librarian that helped me discover my love of reading again.
I spent an entire Summer in the library in Battle Creek Michigan. Normally I would go in in the morning and plop myself down in front of the Apple IIe and play Oregon Trail until my eyes went cross. But the Children's Librarian there encouraged me one day to spend more time in books than dying of dysentery for the 1000th time. She asked me if I have ever read Little House on the Prairie. Of course not. Those were books for girls. I had no interest in them. She said give the first one a chance. If I didn't like it she'd help me find something else.
I read everything Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote in about 2 weeks. The books were amazing! That lead me to other series like the Hardy Boys, Boxcar Children and others. I read and read and read everything I could get my hands on.
I spent so much time in that library reading and helping out I got the 1990 Patron of the Year Award and a Gold Library card to go with it!
Being in the library is more than just checking out books. That professional there is just that. Most are teachers. And want to be as much a part of your classroom as you do. The library is an extension of your classroom and the librarian can be an extension of you. When working on a project or some deep learning, the librarian can be the best resource you have to finding those resources students really need. Mearly looking on the shevles amilessly wastes time. Use the brain of the librarian to find where the real learning is.
But it's more than that. They are fountains of knowledge when it comes to digital citizenship, copyright, and using technology. All those things some teachers have trouble wrapping their minds around. Like my friend Jennifer LaGarde says, being a librarian is more like being like MacGyver.
And look at what is happening in Libraries across the globe. They are turning into spaces where kids not only can find a love of reading like I did but they can discover their passion for programming, tinkering, building and more. Take Laura Flemming and the work she is doing in high school library. Pretty cool, huh?
So whatever you call yours I hope you take the time to thank them for the work they do and remind them just how awesome they are!
(Thanks to my friend Gwyneth Jones, The Daring Librarian for letting me use her graphic!)