The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) has recently decided that the person managing the school library should be called the school librarian, as opposed to the library media specialist or teacher librarian. The article on this decision quotes the AASL as arguing that the term school librarian ‘reflects the role of the 21st century library professional as leader, instructional partner, information specialist, teacher and program administrator’. Some USA librarians in schools (note the subtle difference) would have preferred the term teacher librarian and one is quoted as stating that teacher librarian ‘would have moved us over to the essential core group in school instead of under the list of non-essentials..’. I think that most Australian and North American TLs would agree. What is interesting of course, is that the term teacher librarian is used in parts of the UK – but not in Scotland – to denote teachers who have no school library qualification but who are given some hours to run the library. In Scotland and in many schools in England, the term school librarian is used as these professionals are qualified librarians but not qualified teachers. Does it matter? Have a think about it.
Last week, I went to see the film The Road. While many reviewers limited their generosity to 3/5 stars, I thought that the film was excellent. I admit bias here as I am a huge Cormac McCarthy fan and the film is an interpretation of his Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. The film, set in a post-apocalyptic USA is by turn chilling, terrifying, uplifting, hopeless, hopeful and heart-rendering. My attitude to films of books is that there is no need for a film to be a replication of a novel, as it is an interpretation i.e. a different artefact. No two people read a book in exactly the same way – we all interpret the story and envisage the characters in our own way. See the film and certainly read the book.