Ruth Toor

Decent Essays
In New on the Job: A School Library Media Specialist’s Guide to Success, Ruth Toor and Hilda Weisburg present a one-stop manual for first-year school library that details numerous aspects of what it means to be a successful school library media specialist. The authors, both of whom are veteran former school librarians, outline everything from the job interview to the last day of school, sharing years of wisdom and practical insight into the ins and outs of the profession. Special attention is paid to developing relationships between the various members of the school population and associated individuals, including students, teachers, administrators, school board members, parents, and volunteers. The authors remind school librarians to keep…show more content…
The authors rely heavily on acronyms to denote familiar terms such as “library media center” and “school library media program.” While fairly intuitive and easy to figure out, some readers may become distracted and/or frustrated by their frequent usage. Similarly, some users may not be familiar with references to the American Library Association’s Information Power document, which the authors presuppose the readers know. Fortunately, they do a good job of quoting and explaining the concepts from this document that they present. One unfortunate inclusion is the use of the term “white bread” in the discussion of racial diversity within the teaching staff on page 40. Some readers, such as myself, may find this term to be mildly offensive, as it seems to imply that a mostly white faculty is a bad thing in and of itself. While it is an unfortunate reality that minority groups are often grossly underrepresented amongst professional educators in our nation’s schools, it does not follow that more diverse teachers are necessarily better teachers. Another concern I have is that at times the authors seem to be encouraging new librarians to create more work for themselves than is necessary or professionally healthy, even doing so occurs within the context of building relationships with other staff (such as the suggestion to take on unwanted jobs from the technology department on page 159). Furthermore, it may be that the information on national and state standards is somewhat outdated given the rise of Common Core, but the general ideas presented about standards should still apply. Finally, I personally struggled to follow the discussion and visualize the process of doing a paper-based inventory system, primarily because I have never seen it done before. Perhaps others would have a better idea of what goes on then and there. Of course, as schools become more and more automated
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