Role of the Library Media Specialist
The Library Media Specialist plays four roles:
Teacher: Teaching skills students need to learn and achieve: literature appreciation,critical use of media and the application of information literacy skills to all school subjects.
Information Specialist: Maintains access to print, media, and technology collections and provides reference services to students and teachers.
Instructional Consultant: Helps teachers plan for the integration of library resources and information literacy skills into units and lesson plans. Serves as a partner in educating students, developing curricula, and integrating resources into teaching and learning.
Program Manager: Plans and manages the school's library media program and library facilities, selects and trains library support staff, develops the school library budget. Seeks, selects, evaluates, and utilizes print and non-print resources pertinent to the curriculum.
Students need many carefully planned opportunities to access, use, and evaluate information in all subject areas and all formats. Information literacy and library skills are taught most effectively as part of the regular curriculum rather than as an isolated subject. Since library work and classroom work are done together, the teaching of the knowledge and skills of the various school subjects and the teaching of information literacy reinforce one another. For this reason, Library Media Specialist works with the classroom teacher following a consultative model and, rather than having a regular
fixed library period, the Library Media Center uses a flexible scheduling arrangement.
The Library Media Specialist consults with the classroom Teacher to identify those places in the instructional program where library and information skills can be taught with most relevancy. Together, the Library Media Specialist and classroom Teacher plan, co-teach, and assess the instructional sequence.
This is a method of scheduling the library so that Library Media Center access for each classroom in is scheduled in ways that are appropriate for carrying out the integrated instruction developed under the consultative model. This allows the frequency and length of library time to be "customized" for each curriculum project. While library instruction is scheduled on a flexible model, a fixed amount of weekly access (about 10 min) may be provided in elementary schools without a full-time library specialist in order to allow students to select, check out, and return books.