The School Library Media Professional

Teacher Librarian with studentLeader, collaborator, teacher librarian, information specialist... these are just a few of the words that describe today's instructional library media professional. From partnering with teachers on engaging information inquiry lessons to directing technology-rich grant projects, today's school library media specialist coordinates a learning laboratory filled with information resources and learning tools.

Many new studies conducted in 16 different states indicate that effective school library media specialists are found in most schools reporting high student achievement. (Scholastic's School Library Works 2006, PDF). As an instructional media specialist and information technologist the teacher librarian collaborates with educators across the curriculum to design inquiry-rich learning environments for children and young adults.

A professional, collaborative, service and instructional oriented school library media specialist serving a school fulltime with a program that is adequately funded with support staff is a strong predictor of an educational environment that leads to improvement of student academic performance.

Schools with a fulltime professional library media specialist are more likely to be wired and connected with Information Age resources and technologies. The programs promote reading, media and information literacy. They are more likely to have cooperation with local community library programs, access to a wide variety of current electronic resources, and maintain an active website for access to online instructional resources.

They are leaders in applying today's technologies to successful learning and teaching.

Research-based evidence supporting the essential role of the school library media specialist in meeting the academic needs of learners is growing. To explore this evidence, go to the Data Sources Page.

Our blue ribbon candidates are strongly encouraged to become active in professional organizations and develop relationships with practicing school library media specialists. To explore a blog for bridging theory and practice, go to the SMLS Bridging Theory and Practice Blog Page.

The library media specialist has many roles and responsibilities including teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator. To explore resources of the professional school library media specialist, go to organizations, e-communication, journals, books, websites, notable professionals, gov't resources, and collection development tools.

blue ribbon logoThe Blue Ribbon course The School Library Media Specialist focuses on the role of the school library media specialist as an educational leader and center administrator. To learn more about this course, go to The School Library Media Specialist.


blue ribbon logoThe Blue Ribbon course Grantwriting helps the perspective school library media specialist develop the skills necessary to identify potential and relevant grant funders, develop grant projects to address demonstrable areas of need, and write high quality grant proposals.

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