Initially considered a fancy title for a school librarian, a school media specialist is actually a much more responsible position than that of a standard librarian. Where a school librarian has to issue books and oversee library functions on the whole, media specialists infuse technology into library services and offer this concoction of information to students and teaching professionals.
To work as a school media specialist, you need to have a degree in library sciences – it helps immensely if you have a few media technology courses thrown in of course. Many vocational schools also offer courses that cover the job skills needed for a media specialist’s job.
As far as school media specialists are concerned, their work is confined to working in a school library. But the confinement does not mean that their access to knowledge is limited. They just have a defined scope of work that they need to perform within. School media specialists encourage students and teachers to use library and media resources. They plan and develop selection and purchase of age-appropriate literary and media materials that are in sync with the school’s curriculum. They also work with teachers and staff to infuse media materials into standard educational modules.
School media specialists also perform the duties of regular librarians. This may include assisting students in looking for and issuing books and providing them with help during their research activities. Other duties that they perform include:
School Media Specialist Job Description
• Confer with teaching professionals to understand the school’s educational goals
• Screen, select and order instructional materials and equipment in accordance to educational objectives
• Encourage staff and students to access library and media center and use its resources efficiently
• Plan and encourage selection of age and interest-appropriate books and materials
• Supervise students during library visits and provide them with help in research and location of materials
• Ascertain that the library environment is conducive to quick accessibility, good study habits and development of proficient media services users
• Coordinate with other libraries to arrange for inter-library loans
• Promote appropriate conduct of students using library services by providing them with information on procedures and policies
• Provide reading and materials access guidance to students
• Assist students with special needs particularly, in accordance to the school’s policies
• Prepare and administer media center budgets and supervise the work of library aides and volunteers
• Conduct library media workshops and study groups and oversee the individual students and study groups closely
• Ascertain that all materials and resources are being used with care and report any misuse thereof