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The Solo Librarian in Knowledge Quest November 15, 2011

Posted by Jen Habley in Check this out!.

By Frances Reeve

The theme of the November/December 2011 issue of Knowledge Quest is “The Solo Librarian.” When Audrey Church and I were invited to be guest editors of this issue, we thought about solo school librarians – those librarians working alone with no paid clerk, aide, paraprofessional, or second librarian and realized that there have always been solo librarians. In fact, each of us has been a solo librarian in a small school with low enrollment; however, today there are also solo librarians who are working alone or serving more than one school because of budget cuts and financial challenges.

We asked solo librarians from various parts of the country and from various levels and types of schools to share their experiences, their strategies, and lessons learned. We quickly realized that any school librarian in the 21st century can benefit from these same resources mentioned by the authors of the articles.

For example, Carl Harvey, in his president’s column, “You’re Not Alone,” reminds us that AASL provides resources such as the new Standards for the 21st-Century Lesson Plan Database, a repository of lesson plans for instruction based on the AASL standards.

In “Definitely Not Alone!” Audrey discusses various technology  tools that allow librarians to immediately and constantly connect and interact with other librarians. She encourages librarians to stay connected and make full use of available resources.

Wayne Cherry (TX) compares solo librarianship to juggling.  Nancy Terrell (VA) tells about hard choices that impact student services in her middle school library but suggests we should embrace change with a positive attitude. Cynthia Karabush and Pam Pleviak (IL) argue forcefully that we should be proactive to leverage our talents and usefulness to students and staff.

Common threads in the articles in this issue are the importance of prioritizing, of letting go of things that we may have always done “that way,” of delegating and sharing responsibility, and of focusing – first and foremost – on services to students.

For more about the issue visit www.ala.org/aasl/knowledgequest!


1. Amanda Chase - November 16, 2011

I am looking forward to reading about Solo Librarians. It is a task that has many ups and downs. I love my job and want to learn more ways to gettinng things done without stressing out. Thank you.

2. Holly Lakatos - November 17, 2011

The link to Knoweldge Quest doesn’t seem to work right now.

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