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"Qualified teacher-librarians, technicians and updated collections and technology should be considered essential in all schools and not ‘choices as seen necessary to achieve the outcomes in the Guide to Education.’ How can anyone without library training provide ‘professional direction’ in the library?

Merle Harris is an internationally known storyteller and co-organizer of the annual T.A.L.E.S. storytelling festival in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

juggle peopleMy media clerk does a great job shelving and circulating the resources in our library media center.

A team of students manage the daily operation of the library media center. It's a great experience for them and a wonderful resource for me.

I can't imagine having anyone else run my library. I don't think students or volunteers would get books in the correct location on the shelf.

These are three very different perspectives on how human resources are used in a school library media program. Your job as the program administrator is to make decisions on how to manage your personnel including support staff, volunteers, and others who might be under your direction. You must also collaborate with others throughout the learning community that will contribute to the success of your program.

In addition to managing others, you must also be certain that your professional time is being well-spent. A fifth grader or a parent volunteer may not be able to shelve books, create bulletin boards, and run the circulation system as well as a professional. However, a professional's time is too valuable to be spent on tasks that can be accomplished by others.

eye means readThis section of the course contains the following related topics for investigation:
School Library Media Specialist Professional
Library Media Support Personnel
Volunteer in the School Library

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What role do people play in the library media center program?

eye means readRead Learning About the Job: What Does a School Librarian Do? from the American Association of School Librarians.

Read Position Statement of the School Library Media Supervisor from the American Association of School Librarians.

Read Position Statement on Instructional Classification from the American Association of School Librarians.

Also read Librarians from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
General overview of the requirement, responsibilities, and career of a librarian.

From school library professionals collaborating with classroom teachers to volunteers reading to children, a center comes alive with the energy of people. Your program isn't about "things," it's about relationships, information, and ideas. People are the key to a successful library media program.

A wide variety of people come together in school library media center. These people include:

eye means readRead the following position statements adopted by the American Association of School Librarians:
Position Statement on Appropriate Staffing of School Library Media Centers
Position Statement on Preparation of School Librarians
Position Statement on the School Library Media Supervisor

Also read the Parent Outreach Toolkit from the American Association of School Librarians

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What human resources need to be managed?

The school library media program administrator is responsible for the professional staff, support staff, and volunteers involved with the school library media program.

Professional Staff. At least one professional staff member should be supervising the program in each building. Particularly at the elementary level, a professional may be responsible for multiple buildings. In some large schools, multiple professionals may be in charge of the program.

eye means readExplore our page on School Library Media Professional for more information on the role of professional staff in the school library media program.

Support Staff. Many programs have full-time or part-time staff positions including secretaries, media clerks, and occasionally paid student workers.

eye means readExplore our page on Library Media Support Personnel for more information on the role of professional staff in the school library media program.

Volunteers. Parents, community members, and students are often willing to volunteer their time to the library media program. These people have a wide range of interests and skills to share.

eye means readExplore our page on Volunteer in the School Library for more information on the role of volunteers in the school library media program.

 

How do you choose effective people?

Whether recruiting volunteers or hiring staff, it's not easy to select people to match the needs of the library media center. An opportunity to talk with a person one-on-one is as important as applications, resumes, and other documentation. Regardless of library knowledge and skills, the interpersonal skills of a person are most often the most critical aspect of an applicant.

Use resources found at Recruiting and Hiring Advice at Monster to help make good choices. How do you select the right person? There is no perfect answer, but the recruiting and interview processes can be a tremendous help if you use them effectively. Although not specific to school libraries, the information will be helpful.

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Check Your Understanding

info powerInformation Power: Program Administration - Principle 3.
" An effective library media program requires a level of professional and support staffing that is based upon a school's instructional programs, services, facilities, size, and number of students and teachers." (p. 100, 104)

Create a list of tasks that must be accomplished in a successful library media program. Which should be handled by professionals, support staff, and volunteers? Compare your list with another person.

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Make It Real

Interview a library media specialist. Find out about all the people that are involved with the program including professionals, support staff, and volunteers.

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Read More About It

Baaden, Bea (2008). Transition Mentoring in School Library Media Programs. School Library Monthly25(2), 24-26.

District Level Leadership for School Library Media Programs from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Goals & Objectives, Library Media Job Descriptions from Howard County Public School System, MD.

Human Resources Management from the Canadian Library Association
Qualifications and competencies for teacher librarians and school library technicians.

Job Descriptions from Alaska School Library Handbook
Position statements for library media specialist and library paraprofessional.

Wisconsin Content Guidelines for Instructional Library Media Specialist (902) Licensure Programs from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Certification of Library Media and Technology Professionals from Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

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