"The suburban housewife -- she was the dream image of the young American women and the envy, it was said, of women all over the world. The American housewife - freed by science and labor-saving appliances from the drudgery, the dangers of childbirth, and the illnesses of her grandmother had found true feminine fulfillment." -Betty Friedan
In many ways, School Library Media Specialists are like stay-at-home Moms. Their skills keep things running smoothly but often garner little praise. Everyone assumes that they're available at the drop of the hat because "you have so much free time".
No one sees the behind the scenes stuff: professional readings, collection weeding, book ordering, online research, Inter Library Loans, etc. Collaboration is difficult because of fixed scheduling: classroom teachers' planning time is covered by library instruction time. Since the Library Media Specialist is frequently the only librarian in the building (or district, in a K-12 school), chances for professional interaction are limited.
This is not the situation in all schools, but it is the situation in my school, and in many more. Like the stay-at-home Mom, I look for ways to advertise my worth, connect with others, demonstrate that my time is filled with meaningful employment. And I make sure each day that I step out of the "kitchen" and into the world.
"Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?" -Neil Gaiman, The Sandman (Line spoken by Lucien, Librarian of the Dreaming)
"1937 Kitchen" by Todd Ehlers