My school has an old librarian.
I have no idea how old she is but I’d guess she’s well into her 70s.
She’s a lovely lady with beautiful script handwriting. She’s lively, opinionated and completely out of date.
She’s so out of date that she has become one more obstacle in the way of my students’ success.
Renovations completed a year or so ago doubled the size of our library. There are more shelves, more tables, more room to move, some computers and a printer or two.
We also have a big, wooden, card file with those narrow pull-out drawers. It is not maintained, but it is the only way to find out what books may or may not be on the shelves.
We may have the only library in NYC still using a card file. I hope so.
Two years ago I went to the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians because it was in Manhattan and because I was a member of the group.
At the meeting they have a smallish trade show for history book publishers to show their wares and for history-related organizations to try to entice new members.
One of those organizations was one of school librarians. They were showing the latest technological innovations in their field. I was drooling.
I told the woman behind the table that I wish my library were more technologically advanced but that we still use a card file.
“How is Mary,” the woman asked. “Hasn’t she retired yet?”
No, and she shows no signs of planning to any time soon.
I go to other schools where the librarians are using computers to teach students how to research beyond Wikipedia, how to tell a legit web site from a bogus one, and how to create a web page.
I go to other schools that have librarians who teach students about blogging, podcasting and creating animations.
I’ve only taken one class of students to our school library and that was six years ago.
I thought I’d arranged for a lesson on how to do research.
Mary decided to teach them cursive writing.
My students thought I was nuts.
My principal thinks it is time for Mary to move on.
I think it is time for Mary to move on.
All the students think it is time for Mary to move on.
Come the first day of school Mary will be in the library.
Mary doesn’t think it is time for Mary to move on.
Sometimes tenure sucks.