Shakespeare’s Polonius had it right. We should be “loyal” to our own best interests. In order to achieve that piece of advice, we must know ourselves and be able to clearly articulate our values and beliefs. For me this is not a “new age” interpretation of the Bard’s wisdom. Living a life aligned with our values and beliefs is in our own best interest.
This fall at Texas Woman’s University, our campus is trying out the “one book” or “common book” concept. All faculty received a copy of This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. All first-year students will be reading the book for class and all faculty are invited to use this text in their courses.
When I heard Mr. Gediman speak at our back-to-school faculty luncheon, I was reminded of an article I coauthored with co-guest editor Ann Ewbank for the “Advocacy: A Test of Character” issue of Knowledge Quest: “Is There a Teacher-Librarian Worldview? This We Believe…”
For me, our beliefs are as true today as they were seven years ago.
- All schools should have a full-time state-certified school librarian (with graduate-level course work) on their faculty.
- All school librarians should be the champions in their schools for the First Amendment, intellectual freedom, and the right to read. (See the “Library Bill of Rights.”)
- All school librarians should be advocates for all school library stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, and families) to have unfettered equitable physical access to ideas and information throughout the school day and beyond.
- All school librarians should be dedicated to helping students achieve intellectual access to ideas and information so they can be knowledgeable participants in a democratic society.
These are just some of my beliefs, honed through my library science education, that have guided my work as a practicing librarian and my preK-20 teaching. For me, success starts here. Knowing what I believe and why I believe it. Being an advocate for school librarianship from my core beliefs and values helps me stay true to myself and to align my life work with my “best interests.” Working in concert with colleagues, such as Dr. Ewbank, who share my beliefs strengthens our advocacy work.
As you begin the new school year, what do you believe? Why do you believe it? How do your actions align with your beliefs?
Allison, Jay, and Dan Gediman. This I Believe II: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. New York: Holt, 2008. Print.
Ewbank, Ann Dutton, and Judi Moreillon. “Is There a Teacher-Librarian Worldview? This We Believe…” Knowledge Quest 36.1 (2007): 12-15. Print.
kseriphyn. Success Rock. Digital Image. Morguefile. Web. 1 Sept. 2014. <http://mrg.bz/vEb63X>.