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Created and Maintained by
A.B. Credaro
September 29, 2002


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SKILL SET REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL LIBRARIANS

Literature Skills

Must be familiar with every book ever written, those currently being written, and anything that might be written in the future - including a firm publication date for the latter two.

Must be able to satisfactorily explain why any given book isn't held in a particular library's collection, without ever refering to budgets or funding deficiencies.

Must be able to identify the loction of any lost or stolen, or otherwise missing, book - then be able to make it materialise on demand.

Must be able to immediately match a reluctant reader with a book that will interest them, whilst meeting their language arts teacher's selection guidelines for wide reading tasks.

Information Literacy Skills

Must be able to quote volume and page number for every entry in all 24 volumes of a set of encyclopedia; be familiar with every word in the English language since Chaucer; know the origin of any cliche or quotation, and be able to cite a minimum of two supporting documents for the same. From memory.

Must be familiar with every online database in existance, and be able to subscribe to same on demand - without expending any money.

Must have developed a paper file system with newspaper cuttings for every event, issue or discovery, since the development of the printing press.

Must be able to help students and teachers extract information from all information sources without actually requiring them to read anything.

Must be able to instantly quote 40 character URLs for multiple Internet sites that are authoritative, unbiased and current, given a keyword set composed of entirely of prepositions.

Technology Skills

Must have professional level knowledge of every operating system for every platform since the construction of the 1954 Commodore. This knowledge will be derived through self-funded professional development.

Must be familiar with every version of every piece of software developed for all the operating systems described above. This familiarity will be derived through self-funded professional development.

Must be able to diagnose and repair any problem on the network, without admin passwords or access, and without using a hammer or coarse language.

Must be able to tie two 15 foot network cables together to produce one 40 foot cable (without tools).

Must be able to remotely diagnose and repair all computer problems over the intercom phone given only a vague description while the loudspeaker is blaring in your ear.

Must know what "that thingy" means in various contexts.

Must be able to help students and teachers fit a 4 Gig PowerPoint Presentation onto a 1.4 Meg disk.

People Skills

Must be able to work with all personality types including passive-aggressive, paranoid, sociopathic, psychotic, and just plain nuts.

Must be able to accept lame excuses from teachers regarding books that have been borrowed 'in their name', although they have never heard of - or seen - the item in question. And then say nothing when they bring it back three weeks later.

Must be able to teach a lesson with no preparation time while rebooting three computers, finding a lost book and answering a phone.

Must be able to read minds and anticipate - then meet - all needs.

Must be willing to instantly drop everything you're doing to help teacher plug in a VCR.

Must have all new textbooks in stock even if the department chair doesn't tell you to order them.

Must smile and maintain a sense of humor in all situations.

Must be able to remember which child has which book out, its date due, and the amount of any fines payable. This will allow you to answer all questions about these issues when asked by a parent in the middle of a supermarket.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to lift heavy boxes and electronic equipment whilst simultaneously doing any of the above activities.

Must be able to crawl under tables, climb over boxes and furniture, and squeeze into impossibly small space while wearing a suit and/or dress.

Must be able to exist on 20 hours sleep per week, as you need to work nights and weekends doing book orders, cataloging, Web page development, computer repairs, and lesson preparation. Most importantly, you need to be able to still smile when teachers say "you're lucky, you don't have to grade papers".

Other Requirements

Must be willing to cheerfully volunteer to set up all equipment/seating for every rally, meeting, and special event that might be held in the library, regardless of day or time.

Must be able to manage 5 figure library operating expenses with a 4 figure library budget.

Must work all 6 periods, before school, at lunch, and after-school tutorials whilst being happy to accept payment for 5 periods.

Must assume administrative responsibilities without the authority or pay.

Must have the temperament of Mother Teresa; the skills of Merlin; the combined expertise of Bill Gates, Steve Job and Linus Torvalds; the wisdom of Solomon; the diplomacy of Henry Kissinger; and the stamina of Atlas. But above all, be yourself.




A.B. Credaro

To correctly cite this page:
Credaro,A.B.(2002).Skill Sets for School Librarians. Warrior Librarian Weekly [online]
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