School Librarians’ Roles

Preliminary Results of a National Survey of Priorities, Performance, and Evaluation in the Context of Professional Guidelines


  • Aaron J. Elkins, Ph.D.
  • Jennifer Luetkemeyer Wood
  • Marcia A. Mardis Florida State University



School librarians, Roles, Professional guidelines


School librarians’ role definition has become increasingly important in light of national trends regarding performance evaluation. This exploratory research included a national survey of school librarians’ perceptions of their roles, influences on their role performance, and the perceived fairness of their performance evaluations. Preliminary survey results suggested that school librarians were performing different types of extra-role behaviors, many of them more than once a month. Of the roles described in the professional standards, the school librarians surveyed indicated that they felt the information specialist role was the most important, and was the role they most frequently engaged in, which is in contrast to the instructional partnering role emphasized by national professional guidelines. The majority of survey participants felt that their performance evaluations were either to a small extent or not at all accurate assessments of their performance. The results suggest that a closer coordination between role performance and evaluation is warranted, as well as further examination of the survey data.