What is your job title anyway?

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts calls me a Library Media Specialist and I have my educator’s license to prove it.  But, I’ve never liked that designation and I use it infrequently. For one thing, I think it’s misleading.

I take issue with the connotation that “specialist” brings to mind, when in fact I see myself as a generalist. A “specialist” is a neurosurgeon. Focuses on one particular part of the anatomy. Doesn’t necessarily see the forest for the trees. Can be single-minded at times. A “generalist” is a General Practitioner who looks at the whole individual. Who knows the family by name. Who still makes house calls. That’s me. I make house calls! 

I make house calls! Visiting a third grade classroom

Visiting a classroom for an author study


Teacher-Librarian and Library Teacher, while accurate representations, are just plain awkward. I agree with the image they intend to project (I am a teacher, after all), but they just don’t roll off the tongue so easily.

I could be tongue-in-cheek and refer to myself as a resourceress. I wouldn’t be the first! That might be setting the bar a little too high however. I can usually grant the wishes of most of my students by finding just the right book, magazine or other resource but I haven’t quite mastered the casting of spells.

So, please, please, just call me the good ol’ fashioned term “librarian”. As long as you don’t call me old-fashioned! No buns, granny sweaters, half glasses or shushing fingers allowed in my library. 


Stay tuned for my next post-“When?”


2 Comments on “What?”

  1. ocdtalk says:

    You are one cool librarian! I love your analogy to a general practitioner ( who I really wish still made house calls).

  2. Carla says:

    Great post – and I agree with you 100%!

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