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The Unseen, Caring Role of a School Librarian in an Urban, Midwestern Public High School

Paula Dowling McClung, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


When it comes to ways to show care through mindful library practices, more research is needed on care in students’ lives, care that is a direct result of the role of a certified school librarian. Using an auto-ethnographic time-study of my daily work as a means to describe what librarians do, field notes were created to examine interactions that exhibited the role of care as defined as being relational care or pastoral care. This research led to examples of care demonstrated through my and occasionally my colleagues’ interactions with students in the library during a variety of time periods. Standards, policies, and evaluation instruments do not acknowledge this role of care, meaning that it is a hidden role of school librarians that nonetheless is very much a part of their day-to-day existence. In times of cuts to public school library programs and certified librarians, this study endeavors to make sure this role is no longer hidden and thus add an additional rationale for the importance of the librarian role to the social and academic success of a public school.

Subject Area

Library science|Secondary education|Educational leadership

Recommended Citation

McClung, Paula Dowling, "The Unseen, Caring Role of a School Librarian in an Urban, Midwestern Public High School" (2022). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI30000301.