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The Leadership Potential of School Librarians Open Access

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Since their origin in 1925, standards for elementary school library programs have outlined role expectations for the school librarian. As the passage of time introduced new technologies into the world of education, these standards were reviewed and revised. After each revision, the standards, which were later referred to as guidelines, reflected an updated view on the school librarian's position with additional responsibilities listed in the form of roles. Researchers have explored perceptions of educator groups regarding these roles, to determine if they were accepted by the members of the school community (Church, 2008; Dorrell & Lawson, 1995; Gustafson, 1982; Kaplan, 2006; McCracken, 2001; Mohajerin & Smith, 1981; Person, 1993; Roach, 1989; Schon, Helmstadter, & Robinson, 1991; Scott, 1986; Shannon, 1996; Shelton, 2002). Repeatedly, findings indicated disagreement among the educator groups and an overall lack of support of these roles from teachers, administrators, and even school librarians themselves, in some cases. If a lack of support for the fulfillment of these roles exists, the school library program cannot develop to its full potential. Consequently, the school librarian cannot fully contribute to student achievement, and a valuable resource is wasted. This study explored perceptions held by educators at the elementary level on the roles of the school librarian, in light of the latest revision to the guidelines (American Association of School Librarians, 2009) which added the role of leader to the list of expectations for school librarians, to determine if a lack of support for the fulfillment of these roles persists.

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