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Professional Philosophy Statement


As I work to articulate a personal philosophy statement in regards to
being a school library media specialist I cannot help but think of a quote from
Joyce Valenza from earlier this semester.
What I know for sure is that if the Joyce who graduated from library
school in 1976 (and again with a school specialty in 1988), heck, if the
Joyce from the 2007/2008 school year, were to visit my library today,
she would be stunned by the differences in my/our practice (Valenza).
The nature of the job is always changing; evolving to meet the latest needs
of our students and teachers. While I may construct a philosophy that
reflects my current feelings and beliefs in the field; it is likely that this
philosophy will continue to evolve as long as I work as at school librarian.
This always hits at the core of my personal philosophy. As a school library
media specialist I want to be hyper-vigilant of changes in education and
librarianship so I may always offer the best materials and services to my
patrons. To stop evolving is to stagnate and I feel this is when I will cease to
be effective. Only through continued reflection and research can I provide
what is needed and necessary to my students and faculty as well making the
case for why a certified librarian is needed in my school.
The American Association of School Librarians standards for 21st
century learners states:
learners use skills, resources, and tools to: Inquire, think critically, and
gain knowledge, draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply

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knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge, share
knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of
our democratic society, and pursue personal and aesthetic growth
(AASL Standards 2007).
In addition to these standards the State of Ohio says
The Library Guidelines which define what students should know and
be able to do as a result of an effective school library media program,
and identifies conditions necessary to establish quality library
programs (ODE 2014).
My personal goals for the library work to meet these standards. In the future
I will strive to create a library environment that promotes digital literacy,
provides a wide range of appropriate digital and print resources for both
student and teachers, teaches and promotes positive digital citizenship,
works collaboratively with teachers to meet the learning standards, and
cultivate a positive relationship with the administration that promotes the
librarian as a leader within the school.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills promotes technology as one of
the skills student will need to compete in the future. In order to promote the
21st century skills as well as other changes to education I want to create a
library that functions as a learning commons as opposed to the old
stereotype of the library as just a repository for print resources. The learning
commons would be a flexible space that can support multiple types of

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activities as well letting it be seen as the hub of the school (Harper
2013).
The library as learning commons would promote digital literacy and
citizenship through access and instruction on proper research methods and
the ability to assess the accuracy and appropriateness of digital sources. I
would also promote the cultivation of academic tech skills in addition to the
social tech skills many students already possess. Much of this work would be
done in conjunction with teachers to ensure students have the knowhow to
apply their skills across the curriculum.
Collaborating with teachers to provide first-rate instruction to students
is a vital function of the library. As the digital leaders of the school it's
important to share these resources with teachers and provide relevant
training to ensure they are being used effectively.According to a 2011 article
from School Library Journal, students in states that lost librarians tended to
have lower reading scores than those in states that gained librarians (Lance
2011). If librarians mean higher reading scores, being involved with all
teachers can help promote higher scores across the board.
The Friday general session at AASL presented a panel discussion from
five administrators from Project Connect regarding what they expect from
their school librarians and library programs. This panel lead to a deeper
understanding of what administrators want to see and how I can promote
myself as a driver of curriculum development, digital transition and
collaborative teaching (AASL General Session Project Connect 2015). By

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rebranding myself and the library as a focal point in the school I can justify
having a certified librarian in the position as well continue to promote the
21st century skills from a leadership position, which leads to greater
exposure.
In conclusion, I believe that I should work to be a digital and curriculum
leader in my school as well as provide a library experience that promotes
digital literacy and collaboration. I also believe this position comes with the
responsibility to continually evaluate my own effectiveness and be ready and
willing to evolve so I may continue to offer the best materials and services.
Alvin Toffler said the illiterate of the future will not be the person who
cannot read. It will be the person who does not know how to learn (Toffler).
Librarians must continue to learn in order to continue their work.

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Works Cited
American Association of School Librarians. "Standards for the 21st Century
Learner." (2007): n. pag. Web. <https://learn.kent.edu/bbcswebdav/pid4655682-dt-content-rid-42512017_1/courses/10037.201580/AASL
%20learning%20standards%282%29.pdf>.
Harper, Meghan. "Savvy School Library Design to Facilitate 21st Century
Literacy Skills and the Common Core." Ohio Media Spectrum 65.1
(2013): 34-41. Ohio Media Spectrum Journal. Ohio Educational Library
Media Association. Web.
Ohio Department of Education. "Library Guidelines." Library Guidelines. Ohio
Department of Education, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
<http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohios-Learning-Standards/LibraryGuidelines>.
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (2014). Framework for 21st century
learning. Retrieved 2014, fromhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.p21.org%2Faboutus%2Fp21-framework

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Project Connect. "AASL Friday General Session Keynote." Project Connect.
Follett, n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2015.
<http://www2.follettlearning.com/projectconnect/>.
Toffler, Alvin. "Alvin Toffler Quote." BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 08 Nov.
2015.
<http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alvintoffl409080.html>.
Valenzo, Joyca. "A Revised Manifesto." NeverEndingSearch. School Library
Journal, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.