There is an article that has been floating around the internet for awhile now called How a School Library Increased Student Use by 1000% . At first glance the article looks really incredible, and helpful for all the librarians out there that are looking to change up their "traditional library" and include a makerspace. The school did a total redesign of the space and added technology, new furniture, a green screen and more. Students and teachers started to utilize the space much more because it allowed for more collaboration, creativity and the ability for people to connect and grow. All great things!
The problem is this "library" does not have a full time certified librarian in it. This district and many many others (including the South Orange/Maplewood School District, where I use to work and where my child goes to school) made the decision to eliminate certified librarians. One of the many arguments I hear is that with the Internet and technology there is not as much of a need for a librarian... and who needs a librarian in a makerspace. These argument is so misguided and wrong for some many reasons but I do think this letter by the American Library Association, American Association of School Librarian, New Jersey Association of School Librarians, Dr. Joyce Valenza, myself and many more experts in the field does a good job explaining why we must have certified school librarians in every school.
This leads me to the point of this post, should we continue to call the the space a library if there is no certified librarian in it? I am starting to think we should not. What do you think? What would you call it instead?
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.