Purpose and Mission
The mission of the secondary library media program is to ensure that all students and staff are effective users of ideas and information. To accomplish this mission the school’s library media specialist:
- Works with other classroom teachers to design learning strategies that meet the needs of individual students;
- Provides instruction to foster competence and stimulate interest in reading, viewing, and using information and ideas; and
- Provides intellectual and physical access to materials in all formats.
Role of Secondary Library Media Specialists
Library media specialists are educators with the expertise to develop, implement, and evaluate an effective library media program that supports the school curriculum. They carry out the mission of the program and perform overlapping roles: manager, teacher, information specialist, and instructional and curriculum consultant.
As the manager of the library media program, the library media specialist works with school administration to:
- Create a welcoming collaborative learning environment that is conducive to learning and assures equal access and services for all patrons.
- Communicate library media goals, programs and services to the school and community.
- Coordinate the use of the media center to maximize utilization of the facility and its resources.
- Select, evaluate, and purchase books and online information sources that support the curriculum needs and leisure interests.
- Organize the library materials for ease of use.
- Assess the effectiveness and relevance of the library program
- Plan, establish, and maintain the policies, procedures and expenditures necessary for the operation of the school library media program.
- Train and supervise library personnel.
Library media specialists are teacher-librarians. As licensed teachers, library media specialists are their school’s “information specialist.” In the role of teacher-librarian, they teach students how to become confident lifelong users of information by:
- Teaching students how to be effective users of information using the Big6™ problem solving model.
- Teaching students information access, evaluation, and search strategies appropriate to electronic and traditional library media sources as an integral part of the content and objectives of the Utah State Core Curriculum, including the selection of appropriate technology tools.
- Teaching students and school staff about copyright and the ethical use of information
- Planning jointly with teachers to aid them in teaching their curriculum and ensuring that information and research skills are correlated with classroom instruction.
- Providing learning opportunities related to new technologies and the use and production of a variety of instructional materials.
- Evaluating and selecting all types of materials for the library program which reflect the curriculum needs of the school and the interests and needs of students.
- Assisting teachers and students in accessing books and online materials to meet their information needs.
- Promoting reading and encouraging lifelong learning.
As the school’s information specialist, the library media specialist also:
- Collaborates with teachers to create opportunities for teaching 21st century research skills, based upon the Big6™ research model.
- Models the use of databases and websites as research tools
- Creates and fosters an online community using current communication tools.
- Model appropriate copyright compliance and ethical use of information.