I’ve already blogged some thoughts about my interview with Jane Tretler, but since that was before I realized that a reflection piece was required, I have a bit to add to it.
First of all, Jane’s description of splitting her time between schools was a bit scary. It’s not that I don’t think I could do it, but that it seems like it must really diminish how well a librarian can perform. She told me that currently each school in the district has a certified librarian, and it’s allowing them to not only focus fully on their own communities, but also to collaborate with each other. The elementary librarians can talk to the middle school librarian and find out where students need extra support. They can arrange projects where the kids communicate between schools. I’m sure that covering multiple schools is rewarding in a “plugging the leaks” kind of way, but in the end I can’t see how it wouldn’t be detrimental to the students and to the librarian.
It was also pretty cool to hear about how she’s evaluated, in terms of creating yearly goals. It seems like exactly the sort of thing I would need to keep myself moving forward and trying new things. It was interesting to hear about the support she receives from BOCES as well. I worked for BOCES through a temp agency when I first moved to Utica, so I enjoyed getting a fuller picture of that relationship.
The main thing that Jane impressed on me is the fact that the job requires you to be a lifelong learner. You can never assume that you know enough to do the job – you have to create knowledge to do the job better. It was great to talk to someone who’s been in the field for so long, and honestly it was cool to go back to where I spent a great deal of my time as an 8 year old and see how it’s adapted. The overall point is that there’s so much potential, but only if you’re constantly seeking and implementing better ideas.