After graduating from Mansfield’s SL&IT’s program in 2005, my goal was to make the switch from 9th-grade English teacher and 8th-grade history teacher to school library media specialist at Mount Carmel Area Junior-Senior High School. That goal was realized much sooner than I anticipated when the SLMS made a surprise decision to retire early after the 2005-06 school year.
Contrary to popular thought, I have not spent my first 2 years as SLMS reading books. Based on student reaction, the greatest achievement of my first year in the library was to acquire a futon and a sofa to create a more comfortable area in which students could relax as they read. One of the many duties of a SLMS is to become a press agent/salesperson to try to get students and teachers to discover what the library has to offer them. I publish a monthly newsletter known, regrettably, as “Biblio-Files.” Students’ artwork and other creations are integrated with displays of books.
Of course, as a graduate of Mansfield’s School Library and Information Technologies program, one of my primary aims is to collaborate with teachers to integrate information literacy with curricular objectives. This involves working with teachers to create lessons.
I have also produced a variety of web pages, including the school library, “Roads to Research” and one specifically aimed at providing teachers with resources. In trying to help students become lifelong learners and teachers to become partners, I hope to demonstrate that technology has not made school libraries outdated; rather, it has made a SLMS more relevant than ever.
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