I can absolutely point back to teachers who have made a difference in my life. But I can also point back to librarians who have changed my world.
When I was in mid-high (a weird 9th and 10th grade school that existed at the time in Edmond, OK and probably no place else in the world), my school librarian had a huge impact on me.
She introduced me to the idea of reading and annotating, and the importance of reading great books, of course, through the Junior Great Books reading club.
She introduced me to the idea of becoming a literacy tutor, provided the necessary training, and paired me with a girl who was learning English. From this pairing, I was able to help a fellow student, but I’m positive that she helped me more than I ever helped her.
My librarian instilled in me a love of research, or what I like to refer to as the hunt. All of the information of the world is out there, and you just have to hunt it down – she taught me that.
She helped me recognize that books don’t come with ages slapped on the sides. Just because I was 14 was no reason for me to shy away from intriguing texts.
My librarian taught me that you don’t have to be a classroom teacher to care about students. Ever since the 9th grade I’ve always sought out educators who know me outside of the classroom to confide in.
I’d venture to say that my librarian; although she never had me in a class, although she never gave me a grade, and although she never received the recognition she was due; shaped me just as much as anyone else during my high school experience.
School librarians were necessary then, and they’re just as vital now. Libraries have evolved with the times. Some have more computers than books. Some have more collaboration than quiet. Some have more coffee bars than stuffiness. And that’s just as it should be. Librarians help people access, digest, and analyze information. They support education in traditional and alternative forms. They curate information to make it relatable and usable to wide and varied audiences. They host events and clubs that draw people to learning and thinking in new ways. And so much more.
Whoever believes librarianship is a useless field should go visit a library right away to discover the treasures librarians can help unlock.