Friday, January 29, 2010

What's in a Name: A Discussion about identity and vision

Enjoy the animation from Gwyneth Jones

Come join in what will be a lively panel discussion about the recent AASL decision that settled the matter of our names. We are "school librarians." But is the matter settled? What do we really want to call ourselves? Did the recent AASL decision settle the matter? In what ways do labels matter?

The TL Cafe hosts its very first webinar in our monthly series as Mike Eisenberg, Sara Kelly Johns, Gwyneth Jones, and Joyce Valenza lead us in the discussion. So are you a  school librarian, teacher librarian, a library media specialists, or a chief information officer? Come share your ideas.

Here is the link to access the webinar:

Read this article in School Library Journal to hear one perspective.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be on my way home when this webinar is going on tonight, and hope that this webinar is archived where we can view it at a later date! I'd love to hear what the professionals think about this subject. I've been using the "school librarian" label in all of my dialogues/postings. When people ask me why I'm going back to school, I tell them I'm going back for my "school librarian certification". To me, it's simple and to the point, and doesn't raise any questions except: "Oh, I didn't know you had to be certified to be a school librarian?". I wonder if I told them that I was going back to school to be a "library media specialist", if this might raise a few more questions, particularly: "What is a library media specialist?".

    The issue of labels reminds me of the uproar "special librarians" had over the Special Libraries Association name change proposal. It was proposed to change the name of this organization to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals, or ASKPro. The SLA President and others felt.... "that the word 'librarian' conjures up old stereotypes and does not convey for today's audience and generation what librarians really do and their value to the educational or governmental institution and/or the corporation. To remain competitive in the digital environment we must be seen as an organization willing to reinvent and we can put a stamp on SLA's movement by changing the name along with our core values." David Shumaker, a professor at Catholic University, discussed why he was going to vote against the name change, which you can read here:

    In the end, the SLA members voted against the name change.