AASL – Official Name Change for SLMS

I wanted to make sure everyone is aware that AASL has now officially changed our name, “school library media specialist,” to “school librarian.” This could have huge implications for our job description in Georgia. All state certification and NBPTS language references “school library media specialist.” I understand that AASL does not mandate what we are called in other groups, but it is not best if our national organization is not congruent with all other organizations in terminology.

Back in the 1980’s, we worked so hard in Georgia to associate a name with the evolving job description of the SLMS. We felt SLMS was reflective of that work, and the fear of going back to the old image of the little lady school librarian who only sits and checks out books is rather frightening with budgets so limited and looming legislation so threatening.

While I personally considered myself a “school librarian” for 30 years in the K-12 schools and was most proud of the term, the stakeholders (community members, parents, legislators, and even administrators and teachers) did not always fully understand everything that the media specialist/teacher-librarian did. For that reason, I supported the move to “school library media specialist.”

I do not know your feelings about this politically, but I am concerned that AASL has taken this step. See the article in SLJ and I urge you to make comments about this change if you feel it is a bad move for us in Georgia, especially during a time when so much is being cut from our programs.

Phyllis R. Snipes
University of West Georgia

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Posted on February 3, 2010, in legislation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think it’s a bit ironic that FL and CA don’t use “school librarian” according to the article, but are the worst at cutting the positions. I don’t care what you call me as long as you let me have the job!

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