In his recent posting, All Hail the Mighty Media Specialist, blogger Bill Ferriter begins with a disclaimer
"During the course of my sixteen year teaching career, I’ve worked with a ton of GREAT media specialists...I also believe that media specialists can play an important role in any school community. When they’re skilled, they teach students to manage information fluently and how to judge the reliability of sources...Finally, they often find ways to help teachers integrate media literacy skills into their required curriculum and do the heavy lifting on shared projects that are at once motivating and essential for students."
But then he goes on to say
"I'm also tired of the lofty rhetoric that media specialist and their professional organizations tend to sling...I get the sense that many media specialists believe that they are the 'lead readers' in any school and that the success or failure of any reading program depends primarily on the work done in the media center...I’m bothered any time that my own role as a reading advocate and expert is pushed aside. After all, I’m the one that is being held accountable for reading performance in our schools."
It's unfortunate that Bill seems to regard this as a sort of competition, that he feels teacher/librarians are trying to usurp his role or cast aspersions on his expertise.
It all goes back to branding. Until our profession has a clearly identifiable, universally recognized set of descriptors, this type of push back from subject area experts can be expected.
Teacher/librarians need to be recognized as generalists rather than specialists. Our scope should be cross-curricular, inclusive, with a dual focus on literature and information technology.
We don't want to be set above you, Bill, we want to work along side you and be your partners in education.
"It is not only one person's work, it's really a partnership and collaboration during all these years." -Christo
"Big Picture" by Auntie P