Mind the gaps: School librarians’ job descriptions and the professional standards for school librarians in the United States

Elkins, Aaron
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School Libraries Worldwide

While previous studies have analyzed the contents of different librarians' job descriptions (Brewerton, 2011; Park, Lu, & Marion, 2009), school librarians' job descriptions have not received similar attention. The purpose of this study was to compare how well the performance responsibilities from Florida school librarians' job descriptions agreed with the performance responsibilities from the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) professional standards outlined in their publication Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs (AASL, 2009). Rates of agreement were calculated by using thematic qualitative content analysis to compare the subjects and actions of the respective performance responsibilities. Analysis showed the ages and origins of the job descriptions did not have a consistent influence on rates of agreement, though job descriptions within the range of 11-20 performance responsibilities tended to have higher average rates of agreement. The various aspects of school librarians' roles as described in Empowering Learners were present in their job descriptions to different extents, with some aspects more frequently represented than others. The differences between the performance responsibilities in school librarians' job descriptions and Empowering Learners may be a source of role ambiguity, conflict, erosion, and overload for school librarians.

Article originally published in School Libraries Worldwide, 87–98. English. Published online 2018. https://doi.org/10.29173/slw8219
Permission to deposit the published version was given through direct contact with the publisher. For more information please see the faculty member's entry in Project INDEX -- EDH 7/11/23
School librarians, American Association of School Librarians, Library job descriptions
This is the published version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.29173/slw8219. Recommended citation: Elkins, A. J. (2018). Mind the gaps: School librarians' job descriptions and the professional standards for school librarians in the United States. School Libraries Worldwide, 87–98. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.