What’s in a title? Alabama’s Mobile County moves from Media Specialists to Digital Literacy Leaders

LeafWhat’s in a title? When it comes to school libraries, those working in them have seemed to have a few different ones over the past few years. In Mobile County, in the state of Alabama, their Media Specialists just got a new one: Digital Literacy Leaders. But what’s in a title?

Today’s school library media specialists need to be a leader at school, know the curriculum, co-teach, mentor teachers and students, keep up on tech, and much, much more. The Mobile County administration wanted their staff to go beyond the walls of the school library and truly embed themselves with teachers and students. This led them to launch “a project last fall to transform the school system’s library media specialists into digital leaders, coaches and collaborative partners who work with students, teachers and school leaders to ensure appropriate technology is woven throughout the curriculum. As these library media specialists were taking on a new role, the school district gave the transformed position a new title: Digital Literacy Leaders.”

Does the title matter? Maybe. Some of the Media Specialists we’ve talked to have changed titles and/or responsibilities in the past few years. Technology Integrationist is one of the most popular title changes. Usually, this change in title is part of an overall change in direction of the school district; from Books to Tech, from Reference Sources to Digital Literacy. In Mobile County this seems to be the case too. “In addition to assisting students and teachers in the media center, the media specialists now go into the classrooms to help teachers incorporate new tools and strategies into their instruction, often co-teaching lessons and modeling digital technology use.” Mobile County changed the job responsibilities of the Media Specialist and a change in job title happened to come with it too.

Read about the 1st of 3 years from two Mobile County staff who are experiencing the change now.

Got a second? Check out a video documenting the Mobile County Public Schools digital media literacy project:

Image credit: http://tinyurl.com/oclw77j, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0