National Shortage of School Librarians: another solution?

Jimmy Allen dropped by to let us know about his blog and campaign to get MLS librarians who may not have a teaching certificate into school libraries.

Jimmy Allen dropped by to let us know about his blog and campaign to get MLS librarians who may not have a teaching certificate into school libraries.Full text of Mr. Allen’s message:

In the United States today all but 3 states seem to have a shortage of school librarians. Be that as it may, MLS librarians who have master’s degrees that are accredited by the American Library Association are excluded from applying for school library jobs. That is unless, they are also state certified teachers for the public schools.Isn’t this the very expression of the tension between the profession of teaching and the profession of librarianship? Obviously the big losers here sadly are American school children, whose libraries are staffed by part time volunteer parents. Or they would be closed altogether. And well intended volunteer parents often can come to their volunteerism with preconceived notions of protecting school children with their weeding practices, that in many ways mirror censorship. The deleterious effects of this I would submit are wholly axiomatic, and as such bear no further explanation. If we as professional librarians have a commitment to resisting censorship and promulgating intellectual freedom in the public schools, then we must lobby our state legislators and get the laws changed! To allow public librarians, that is librarians who hold MLS degrees from ALA accredited programs to be able to work in the public school libraries, where there is no librarian who is also a certified teacher, who is available. For more information on this very important issue, please feel free to visit my weblog and take a stand and make a commitment to help promulgate in the profession a thoughtful academically responsible polemic attendant upon this very important issue. Indeed don’t we as professional librarians have a fiduciary responsibility to foster this type of thoughtful discussion within our profession. There are no right or wrong opinions here. Everyone’s opinion can be respected and indeed a valued contribution, so make a difference today. Because American school children are worth it, so let’s get those badly antiquated laws changed. Because the right of American school children to read and pursue intellectual freedom in the school libraries is the cornerstone of the American dream.

Please note: The Jimmy Allen American Library Turfwar Blog contains numerous informational links for library professionals attendant upon the informational facilitation of this important issue.

Written by Jimmy Allen M.B.A., M.L.S.