I certainly touched a nerve when asking what your title is and what you call your space! Thanks to the many colleagues who responded to these questions. The short answer is overwhelmingly in favor of Librarian/School Librarian and Library, with Library Media Specialist and Teacher Librarian, and Library Media Center/Media Center in distant 2nd place. Included below is a spreadsheet with all the responses so you can see the wide variety of titles and place names used. I've also included shared some of the comments I've received.
One constant remains - Regardless of what AASL has decreed, or the verbiage in our contracts, DESE licenses or signs outside our doors, we continue to have differing opinions among ourselves in the profession about what we and our spaces should be called. This makes me wonder if using titles and place names other than the traditional Librarian/Library helps to clarify or confuse our roles and the services and resources we provide
I think this comment by one of our colleagues captures my feelings on the topic: "I am a big fan of the terms library and librarian. I think while our jobs are obviously evolving, their essence hasn't. We are still providing tools and resources to empower student exploration and we always have. And to say that we have to update our titles and our library spaces with new up to date terms, rests on the assumption that libraries are out of date. I don't like that."
I go by librarian -- I avoid media specialist because we have a tech integration person and I would rather they deal with media issues. I feel my role is teacher first, but I do not add that to my "title" - maybe I should.
My license says LMS. I'm a school librarian on my taxes. Most people just call me the librarian, or "Hey Miss."
Library Teacher, though I'm most often referred to as librarian and I gently correct people. This is where I do think the different name matters, and teacher is an important part of the title. Our work is so different than that of librarians in other settings.
I have always despised the term Media Specialist and when it came into vogue I predicted it would last a decade or two and then be rejected for the good old term librarian. Ditto Media Center - yuck!! I confess I feel exactly the same way about Learning Commons. I do like using the term Library Teacher to emphasize our role as teachers.
My official title is Research and Teaching & Learning Librarian. At my previous school my title was Library Media Specialist....I'm a librarian. Wherever I work and whatever my title, I'm still a librarian. Students and colleagues know me as a school librarian. My title is irrelevant.
I am a school librarian, and my space is the library. Am not a fan of the title Learning Commons.
There is obviously plenty of reason to debate what we should be called, but I do really like using librarian--its clear, students understand what it means, and it helps them to build a connection to the public and academic library systems that they will hopefully engage with after high school. I always say that if they learn nothing else, I want them to know that libraries are spaces for them, and using similar titles is a way to reinforce that connection.
I called myself a Library Media Teacher (it seemed to most closely represent what I did) and my space was the Library Media Center (LMC) or the Media Center. For the kids there was no issue, but just "Media Center" could sometimes be confusing for the public, so I put "Library" in front of it, and because of the books aspect. Kids' lives are all about media now, so it feels important to have that in our name. As media teachers, we teach them how to learn and how to navigate the world. Their teachers teach individual discreet skills, and we teach underlying learning skills and give them learning opportunities to approach larger topics and bring all their skills together. I wish folks could recognize that as media is the most important aspect of kids 'lives, we are critical, and the only ones, who directly teach them how to navigate and make sense of it all, how to apply critical thinking to their world, and all that comes into their lives through media, which is everything.
The sign over the main door says LIBRARY and my website says Library Learning Commons. This change was made when I received funds to make the learning spaces more flexible and bought cafe tables and chairs, desks on wheels that can be configured in different shapes when grouped together, stackable chairs, and similar items. I call myself a school librarian because that's the title that people who don't work in education understand most easily, although among other educators I sometimes use library teacher. It seems this discussion never goes away. It's probably because a lot of the work we do goes unseen and unappreciated and we're always hoping a new name for the space or title for ourselves will help change that!
Library Teacher, seems to go along with what we call here the French Teacher, Spanish Teacher, Health Teacher, etc.
I have called myself a Library Teacher for many years. However, more recently, I am letting students know that my official title is Library Media Specialist (as per my license) as we are teaching lessons around Media Balance & Media Use. Never thought I would really like the title and I am finding it handy now as I work with students to understand different types of media in a zooming world.
When AASL adopted "school librarian" as the preferred term, I chose that and didn't look back. Within school I usually drop the "school" part and just say "librarian." My district job description is still Library Media Specialist, though.
I have called myself Teacher Librarian for many years, as I see myself first and foremost as a teacher.
We are a library learning commons. As a part of my library orientation lesson each year, I discuss what a learning commons is and how it differs from a traditional library space.
Library "Hub of the School"
I prefer "Library," which is what we've always used. We're moving to a new building in February, where the powers that be have decided to name the part of the library where the circ desk and stacks are located the "Media Center," and the area with student seating the "Learning Commons." Personally, I wish they'd just call the whole thing the "Library," since that's what the public library is called. But I think they're renaming lots of things, like the cafeteria and other areas. I think colleges are going in that direction as well.
Library. Personally, I don't think a new name is needed to demonstrate all we do. The library has always been an evolving space and understanding of the name changes with it.
Library or Library Media Center. They know what we do in here.
One of my concerns with using Learning Commons is that it will in 10 years sound out of date, too. We are working toward redefining our programming, support and what's available to be more in line with a learning commons but are sticking with the term library for now. .
We had an enormous renovation and redesign of our building last year and I was instructed to change the name of the library to “Library Learning Commons.” However, after using this new name for a while I found it very cumbersome and eventually I resorted back to the shortcut term, “Library” for conversations, promotional materials and emails.
We use the term Library at the high school, but our elementary and middle school have shifted to Learning Commons.
I work hard to have the library in our building referred to as "our library" or "(y)our library" -- it is not just mine. :-)
I feel that we can change the perception of what a library is rather than change the name.
The short answer: we are the School Library and I am the School Librarian. Books are still in our school, and we work nicely with our Tech Department...I feel that now, title of School Librarian should be understood that we are all educators. (Media Specialist sort of seems old? Like MSLMA?)
Having gone through an extensive renovation we how call it the Innovation Learning Library.
Our library is called the Information & Research Common or IRC. My title is Information Specialist. I slip in Librarian. I think about this all the time. Rather than evolving the definition of libraries publicly to include technology, schools have gone the way of academia. They have renamed their entire library to “commons” while universities and colleges have often renamed a space within the library. I think we.. school librarians everywhere, need to consider what public understandings of school libraries and librarians we want to share.
Feel free to continue the discussion in the comments below.