120 Things We Do

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Some years back, Dr. Mary Ann Bell sketched an iceberg. Above the water she drew in the iceberg the tasks librarians do that people see, such as circulation, shelving, processing books, etc.

Beneath the water, she listed in the iceberg all the tasks librarians do that are unseen and unknown. They make up most of our work.

Recently, she posted this Google document on the Texas Library Connection and asked members to list tasks that they typically do, to categorize them, and to describe them as seen, unseen or both. Some things will not surprise you, but you will not know that librarians do many of these tasks.

The surprising list is located here.

On most days, our paraprofessionals run the circulation desks and shelve the books while we teach lessons and do other tasks.

See also the page entitled Ed Student Interview for more details.

This word cloud is based on the Google Document entitled 120 Things We Do by Dr. Mary Ann Bell and the librarians of Texas. It is the basis of an article by Dr. Bell, Dr. Tricia Kuon, and Jarod Lambert, the Technology Director of Conroe ISD.

“Iceberg: The Cold, Hard Facts about School Librarians’ Duties” by Mary Ann Bell, Tricia Kuon, and Jarod Lambert in Library Media Connection, August 2014.