I have been wondering about the time when I am officially allowed to call myself a librarian. Do I have to wait until the students show up in August? Am I officially a librarian once I finish my degree? I've been wondering about this privately and found this post on the Annoyed Librarian's blog, thanks to a classmate in LIS 724. The Annoyed Librarian's question (What is a Librarian?) received 90 responses!
I know exactly where I was when I knew I was a teacher. Strangely, it's not that far from where I am sitting right now, in my school's library, even though this school didn't even exist then. I was driving south on Route 59, approaching Route 72. I had just been hired to teach fourth grade at Woodland Elementary School in Carpentersville. I had to pull over because of the overwhelming feeling that "I was a teacher." I felt like I had just become a nun, prepared to spend the rest of my life serving the church. (Little did I know how appropriate that comparison was!)
I believe I have transformed into a librarian slowly. Making the decision to attend library school was an emotional first step. I mourned the loss of my students, my classroom, and the identity of teacher, even though I still had several years yet to teach. Yet, once I made that decision, my mindset began to change.
The more library classes I attended, the more I felt like a librarian. I clearly remember being part of a committee meeting for a summer reading program and advocating, for the first time, the library and librarian perspective instead of a classroom teacher perspective.
Being hired in March as the librarian at Rose School went a long way towards feeling like a librarian, but I still don't have any real experience. Did I become a librarian on July 1st, when the new fiscal year started? I now have the School Library Media endorsement on my teaching certificate, but I don't have my master's degree yet. Will I be a librarian on August 17th when I finish my last class?
Even after I finish my degree, I still want to do an internship and earn my Type 10 certificate. Will I be more of a librarian then than I will be this September?
I found the many comments to the Annoyed Librarian's question intriguing. I don't know that there really is an answer. I do know that it's going to be an exciting (and odd) first day of school on August 24th. I haven't had that "Ahh, NOW I'm a librarian" moment like I did with teaching, but I'm hoping it's yet to come.