DALLAS — On most school campuses across Dallas Independent School District, the school library is considered a learning hub or safe have. Many principals look to school librarians as the guardians of that special space.
“I think literacy is the foundation of the school, and for a lot of our kids who don’t have the opportunity to visit their public library in their community, this might be the only library that they have the opportunity to come to,” explained principal Amber Shields.
Making sure there are qualified librarians in line to do the job, is why Dallas ISD is partnering with Sam Houston State University to host informational sessions, this week, for teachers and community members who may be interested in becoming a school librarian.
"This partnership is a great opportunity for us to build interest in the pipeline,” said Shannon Trejo, chief academic officer with Dallas ISD.
The virtual information meetings for school librarians are part of the district’s plan to create pipelines for many areas of interest in schools across Dallas ISD, considering some staff members may be up for retirement in the coming years.
“So, similar to working hard to get certified teachers into the classroom and retaining those teachers in the classroom, we’re trying to do the same thing for the librarian space,” said Trejo.
Administrators say school librarians empower learners to become lifelong readers. They work with teachers on strategies to expand curriculum. They engage with parents and the community. The library professionals also, in many cases, help students develop and navigate research skills.
“I think its important because we’re in a generation of time where kids have a lot of misinformation. That’s my biggest role, is to teach kids how to be enquirers. How to get the right answer,” said Dallas ISD librarian Jennifer Sancedio.
The Dallas ISD virtual information meetings will also be an opportunity to support interested candidates in reaching their goal.
“One interesting fact is to become a school librarian, not only do you need classroom teacher experience, but you also need to have a library science certification,” added Trejo.
Dallas ISD and its partners will be conducting School Librarian Information Meetings Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. You can find information about registration by visiting https://www.dallasisd.org/librarymediaservices.