Hidden Figures: Administrators Perceptions of Professionally Trained School Librarians
Abstract: This study explores perceptions of school administrators regarding the role of the professionally trained school librarian in the PreK-12 setting. Researcher developed items related to the role of the school librarian, aligned to the American Association of School Librarian’s National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (2017) were added to the Principal Technology Leadership Assessment survey. The revised instrument was validated with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.95. The survey was distributed by email, resulting in a total of 275 responses. Early outcomes provide insights into administrators’ perceptions of the role of the school librarian, as well as barriers to effective use of the school librarian as leader within the PreK-12 setting. These perceptions of school librarians as “hidden figures” within the school community create barriers to effective inclusion of the school librarian in campus leadership and student achievement. Addressing barriers and increasing awareness of the school librarian’s expertise in integrating collaborative strategies and instructional technologies, could support academic growth through improved technology-rich instruction, the empowerment of teachers, and increased student achievement.