The most important factor in the school media center is the library media specialist. Almost every school has a media center. It was only in those schools in which library staffing was sufficient to allow for the active participation of library media specialists in curriculum development, student instruction, and teacher education that test scores increased.
“The school media center is not just a place, it’s a program,” Lance said. “The librarian is the best support classroom teachers could hope to have. [Librarians] can provide educational resources to students and teachers. They can teach teachers how to use informational technology to access additional resources. They can teach information literacy to both teachers and students. They can provide design and support to the curriculum. Eliminating professional school librarians for the purpose of increasing teacher-student ratios in classrooms, for example, handicaps every teacher and is extremely counterproductive.”
I wish I could recall where I found this quote. I was reminded of it today when I attended Renaissance Learning training about connecting Renaissance products with Common Core. Over lunch, it became clear that many of our media specialists are feeling isolated and devalued. Some are wondering if they should be concerned about their jobs.