I was lucky this week to host a fellow librarian from another NYC independent school. She had attended a workshop at my school earlier in the year and wanted to chat about the job of the “American school librarian”. She is to be returning to France soon, and is going to be writing a paper on the subject.
We chatted about our respective schools for a bit and then got down to the real meat of the conversation. What does it really mean to be a school librarian in the USA today? What are our roles? What could our roles be?
Within this conversation, she filled me in on what it is like to be a school librarian in France. She lamented the fact that there are no elementary school positions — there are only middle and high school librarians in France. I found this incredibly interesting, as my experience has shown me that elementary positions in the States seem more easily defended than high school positions (“they can just use the internet”). We spoke about research, stand alone classes, pushing in and progressive integrated curriculum.
I have to say, this tête à tête was just what I needed to get the wind back in my sails for the end of the school year. It reminded me again about the importance of our jobs as school librarians and the importance of opening the doors and letting folks into our spaces and our practice.