This was a plea that came across my Facebook network tonight, and I am torn between laughing and crying. But it does feel oh so good to laugh about it, seriously. Molly Clark (from Syracuse) put it out there for herself and a friend who are taking a class (something related to Syracuse U’s Project Enable.) Some of these will make you shake your head, go “tsk, tsk,” or out and out laugh loudly!! Perhaps you can share more, as the discussion took a turn towards the beginnings of a book through a tumblr account. I’m going to leave it anonymous for now.
Molly’s original request: School librarians: help! Need actual quotes of what educators have said that show misconceptions / stereotypes of what librarians do… Working on tonight’s homework.
Now here are some of the responses:
Principal said yesterday that our study hall aide could show videos once a month as a reward for good behavior as long as they were from the school approved collection.
“I had no idea you needed to have a college degree to do that.”
Ok. So in my large school we had two librarians. One retired and we had a position open. We hired a new LMS with two years of experience. That person happened to be a male. At a faculty meeting a guidance counselor asked me if it was correct to call him a librarian since he was a man. How pathetic is that? I wanted to ask him if it would be correct to call him (the counselor) a moron. I have never forgotten it. I still feel like both laughing and crying when I think about that fool. And he was advising teenagers. OMG. (A question was asked later in the thread for clarification on what one might have replied to the honestly asked question, and it was suggested yet by another “Librariman, duh!”)
Went to get my teacher of the year ballot out of my box after email announcement from an assistant principal that we should vote that afternoon. I had no ballot. When I asked, the assistant principal in charge said, “You are not a teacher so you don’t get to vote.” Of course I retorted that I had a state teaching license, a national board teaching certificate, and two previous TOY’s from a different school that seemed to say I am a teacher.
Student office worker was asked to file all the school mail in the appropriate boxes as part of her assigned duty. For two weeks I kept getting strange mail that wasn’t for the library. After asking the student why she kept putting said mail in the library box, she replied that it said “bookkeeper” on the mailing label.
I once had a teacher say “I thought all the LMS does is sit and read books/magazines all day, I had no idea you had actual work to do”. This was from a teacher who had been teaching for about 20 years too. I said, you should come and shadow me for a day and see all the things that I do. She didn’t take me up on my offer.
I once ran into a teacher at the mailboxes at school very late in the afternoon. She wanted to know why I would still be there so late because “you don’t have any papers to grade.”
And then there was the retired teacher who was substituting one day. She had never brought her own class to the library while she was teaching. “Gee, this is just like a real library,” she said. (Really? As compared to what?)”
You reminded me of a story I had buried in the dark recesses of my brain. My first year as a librarian I learned after the fact that the fifth grade teacher had taken her class on a field trip to the public library to learn what a librarian does. Apparently, I didn’t count. She seemed truly mystified when I mentioned that she could have just brought them down the hall.
Please if you have more share them here so I can get them back to Molly to share with the class at SU.