Thank you, Blanche, for this profound insight into the nature of what we do, or are supposed to be doing.
From Jacques Ellul I learned that history is the consequence of ideas.
So where, and at what point in the history of American school libraries, did the idea of the school librarian as essentially an academic librarian emerge from (or is this worded too strongly)?
And was it then the school librarian as academic librarian who gave shape to the school library as academic library through what they did? Or did the demands of the school library as academic library give shape to the school librarian as academic librarian?
Crucially, how then does the education and training of the school librarian as academic librarian come about? For example, you mentioned in your email to me that Peggy Sullivan was able to join you for the Louisville Symposium on 14 November, and that she was the first full-time faculty member hired to build a program for school librarians at the University of Pittsburgh. When was this, and were programs for school librarians in place at other universities by then, and were these programs for school librarians as academic librarians, or did that develop later?
I ask these many questions because we find ourselves in a moment when the idea that will produce the next chapter in our history of school libraries is emerging, and my great concern is that not all ideas about school libraries will produce a history that actually includes school libraries.
Furthermore, I am more convinced than I have ever been that the central idea upon which the future of our history of school libraries rests, and around which all other ideas about the school library must cohere, is the idea of the school librarian as academic librarian.
Finally, a confession … I recently got hold of School Librarianship: Past, Present, and Future(Alman, 2017), which includes a chapter on the development of school libraries in the United States (Weeks & Barlow), and I also have your Timeline of School Libraries from the draft of Symposium of the Greats: Wisdom from the Past & A Glimpse into the Future of School Libraries(Loertscher & Woolls, 2019). So, on some level, and given sufficient time, I imagine I could answer some/most/all of these questions for myself, but those answers would lack the insight that comes from your direct and personal experience. Please, therefore, do not take my questions as evidence of laziness.
Alman, S. W. (Ed.). (2017). School Librarianship: Past, Present, and Future. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.
Loertscher, D. V., & Woolls, B. (Eds.). (2019). Symposium of the Greats: Wisdom from the Past & A Glimpse into the Future of School Libraries. Salt Lake City: Learning Commons Press.