Friday, May 20, 2011

More on the State of Librarians in LA

It seems very much an Alice in Wonderland scenario that we have gone through the looking glass into a world in acts in such an illogical manner. It seems everywhere you turn in the past couple of weeks the role of the library and librarians in the modern 21st century age is being examined.

Scrutiny is a good think. No professional should resent the spotlight being placed squarely upon what they do. It seems, in a very comforting manner, that there is plenty of evidence to say that libraries and librarians are vital in the new digital age, that they make a positive difference to student achievement and enable them to be positive participants in wider society.

And YET local libraries in the UK are under threat. When I lived in England I was an almost daily user of the local library - it was fantastic - a national treasure. I felt privileged to live (however briefly) in a country that valued the access to literature, information and the community that a library can provide.

And then you have the counter-intuitive situation in the LA where the bad soap opera script is being played out. It could almost a bad parody of the courtroom dramas that are part of the American television canon. TLs in the LA school district are having defend themselves and their professional worth in the a court of law!! WHAT is going on?

I haven't even left the fledging nest of being a TL - almost as the end of my first session of study for my retraining - and I feel like I have jumped out of the fat into the frying pan. I left the classroom in which I felt under seige from the looming National Curriculum and worrying directions of the basic expectations of the classroom teacher. I want to re-energise and fall in love with my profession again. And I have. But it seems I have made the shift into shaky terrritory. At least it won't be boring!

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