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Teacher-Librarians vs Librarians Debate

February 27, 2011 by Lynn   

There has been much debate on OZTL-net this week over Teacher-Librarians vs Librarians being employed in schools.  I will first state that I am employed as a Librarian in a government school and have always corrected those who believed me to be a Teacher-Librarian.  Personally I believe that there is merit for both roles in a school and both have varying degrees of difficulty!   Yes a teacher-librarian is trained in both roles but sometimes the teacher side is the one that often comes to the fore and nowadays is the one that most school administrators are interested in – more bang for their bucks!  Therefore a trained librarian who can perform the management and day-to-day roles required to keep a library running can only be an asset – provided they are employed and paid at the correct level of course.  Surely this debate is no different to the library assistant versus library technician one that many schools, and other libraries, have sometimes confused.  (Again a personal insight in that I originally trained as a library technician and was  employed as such in a school.)  I have long professed the need to differentiate these two roles within the current salary scale and ensure that a library technician is at a higher level.  I have also corrected many people who professed to be library technician (because that’s what the school called the role) when they in fact were not/are not trained as such.  As in the TL vs L debate I acknowledge that the roles are quite different yet complimentary and as such the needs of the library/school are often what dictates.  Discussion and debate over roles should not override the fact that most of us are and have chosen to work in school libraries enjoying what we do best – learning from others and passing on our knowledge where needed.


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