It is funny how summer really brings out the reflective me. My husband and I were having breakfast this morning, talking about qualifications for certain jobs in the education field. The conversation steered towards what makes me qualified for a library job. Now he has a different perspective as a school administrator who is significantly involved in the interviewing and hiring of faculty and staff.
What he said to me shocked me. He said he didn’t really see me as a good candidate for a library job-a media specialist (as they are called in SC.) He said while I am quite progressive and good at what I do, I am too far removed from the traditional look and feel of a school library media specialist. He further explained that while he knows am above average in my position, he said I did not fit the mold of a school librarian, that the things that excite me do not center around books and reading, and that I am prone to get wrapped up in the “what’s new” and the technology side of everything. He said that I would not be considered as the “most qualified” candidate anymore because of how progressive in my thinking I am and ways of doing things.
While I know he was not trying to be mean, it did come as a sucker punch. Since when did being good at technology or being a forward minded thinker become a bad thing? Since when did one have to reel it in, and dumb down the extent of their knowledge to appear “normal” or fit the mold of expectations for one’s job? I do not apologize for my knowledge on any one topic. I do not criticize others for not having the same extent of knowledge I have. As a matter of fact, in the position of a school librarian, i proudly link together those who can compliment the learning. I say this all the time. We all have our gifts and bring different things to the table. And since the role of a “contemporary” LMS is multi-faceted, I celebrate that I can meet many needs in a school setting. I am happy to do it from a library. I will never go back to being a traditional book lover or gate keeper in the library. My paraprofessional in my media center brings that gift to our table.
But I do want to leave this rant, if one can call it that, with this. I do not hold it against any LMS who is more of a traditionalist in their school. In all likelihood, there is another who brings the gift of technology, progressive thinking, and 21st century learning to the table in their schools. Just be good at what you do, that’s all I expect from other LMS’s in the field. I don’t think anyone should be just like me. And I do not hold it against them if they are not.
Just don’t hold it against me, and know that I am willing to work with any and all–because I know we all bring a gift to the table, whatever table it is.