Wandering, Moses, and Mentoring

I am mentoring new and “newish” librarians in my district this year. I am honored and excited to have this opportunity. My resolution is to write some blog posts based on the questions that my “mentorees” ask me, and the resources that I send their way.

I am also VERY excited for our district. From 1982 until 2009 (with the exception of about two years when the elementary school had part time librarians) I was the only LMS in the district. This even though by 2002 the district consisted of three schools.

In 2009, the district decided to hire a full time Middle School Librarian. So finally…there were two of us! In 2011 when I retired, they hired a wonderful replacement for me … a classroom teacher who was very near full certification. And now in 2012, they have hired an elementary librarian…albeit part time. So…for the first time in our district history, there is a librarian in every school. Yay!!

I feel a bit like Moses. I have advocated for this decision for decades. Pleaded, cajoled, gathered statistics, made board presentations and so on. Well…I have finally seen the “Promised Land”! And even though I was not able to step onto that hollowed land before I retired, It does my heart good to know that we have finally achieved the goal I had worked towards for almost 30 years.

I attribute the breakthrough to several things.

1.) Being a member of the curriculum committee where I could talk to teachers at all levels about what a librarian could do for their schools.

2.) The Common Core Standards which cry out for our expertise.

3) A superintendent who truly understands libraries and the role of librarians in education.

So…don’t give up hope! Keep advocating. Your dream may some day come true! Perhaps you will not have to wander in the desert for thirty years!!

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3 Responses to “Wandering, Moses, and Mentoring”


  • What a NICE change to read some positive news about libraries and staffing. This is an inspiration to all of us.

    I would add your leadership and persistance as reasons for your “breakthrough.”

    Thanks for sharing this good news.

  • Thanks Doug. We need to hear success stories to keep going. Classroom teachers need us more than ever…so there are even more opportunities to advocate than I had!

  • That is good news. If you could kindly say a prayer for another school district we have discussed – the one that neglected to fill the intermediate SLMS position, that would be appreciated. So many librarians are working hard to advocate and also be firm in stance not to run two full library programs. districts should “feel the need” for someone besides an aide.

    I want a library job so bad that it hurts right now.

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