I spoke at length this week with a high school librarian at a local school. He blew me away! His years of librarianship coupled with a natural thirst for knowledge have made him this expert across multiple fields with a hugely broad scope of knowledge. Not only is he providing typical library services to students, but he is also managing the International Baccalaureate capstone projects (which are no small thing) and providing community outreach for adults in the area. In addition, he creates content rich web pages for students to access collated information and serves as a resource for students struggling in school. We spoke at length about the high school library being a safe haven for students who don’t feel they belong elsewhere in the school. He said that the book clubs his colleague runs are bursting with students who are seen as loners or who are struggling with identity issues. The library has become the safe space for the LGBTQ community on campus and for students whose home lives affect their ability to fit in at school. I love the knowledge that the library is the open-minded, welcoming place for every single person who walks through the doors!
Though the librarian I spoke with may not know everything, he is an expert at knowing where to go to find the information. And that, at the end of the day, is the job of the librarian: Be the connection between patron needs and the information they need.