Hello and welcome to my blog.
I have been toying with the idea of creating a blog for a while now, in part to chart my journey towards Chartership and in part to spare my friends from my rants. I began working as a school librarian in October 2009, and have faced some challenges reconciling my views on modern librarianship with the reality of my situation. I am hoping that this blog with help me to reflect on my experiences as a newly qualified American librarian working in the UK.
I am not naive. I knew I was facing an uphill battle when I accepted my post last September. I had been warned that the school in which I work had once had a vibrant library with an experienced librarian, but had lost both momentum and funding in recent years. In fact, in the year before I took up the post, the library had been staffed by a recent school leaver.
Although I would never denigrate the hard work of a library assistant tasked with managing a library, the legacy of that arrangment has created a difficult situation for me. The staffer was often referred to as a librarian, and many of the pupils and teachers are unable to distinguish between the roles of a library assistant and a professionally qualified librarian. I am classified as support staff rather than viewed as an educator, so I find myself in a bizarre situation as I know that I need to work hard to promote a modern school library service, yet I have no experience of actually doing so just yet and no opportunities for formal training.
I closely follow the work of Joyce Valenza, Doug Johnson, Buffy Hamilton, Anne Robinson, Anne-Marie Tarter and others, and I aspire to create the type of library programme they advocate. Unfortunately, I do not yet have the experience to go with this theoretical knowledge. This blog will chronicle my attempts to gain this experience and bring our school library programme into the 21st century.