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The self-perceived status of school librarians

Ritchie, C. S. (2011) The self-perceived status of school librarians. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 43 (2). pp. 88-105.

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Abstract

This study investigated how school librarians perceive their status within the school by looking at factors suggested by the literature as either impacting on, or impacted by, status: their relationships with their colleagues and supervisors, their role within the school, job satisfaction, and views on their careers and their training. Most respondents reported a high self-perceived status, on par with a head of department, and they believe that teachers and their supervisors support the library, they always felt welcome in the staff rooms, they feel regarded as both an important and a professional member of staff, and they are satisfied with their jobs. Those who identify themselves as having a low status within the school are far less likely to exhibit extra-role behaviour within the school and are far more likely to be planning on leaving their jobs within 2 years. This research fills a gap on what is known about the current picture of school librarianship, particularly in Scotland. Further research building upon this might further examine the relationship between head teachers, school management teams, and school librarians, as management emerged as the most influential factor of one's self-perceived status.