The Carl B. Library is looking to add a new member to its staff after a year with the position of curriculum librarian vacant.
According to student worker Mia Stranberg, the curriculum librarian is the all-knowing person who is supposed to be able to help students find what books and resources will be most effective for them.
To help in finding a new curriculum librarian, there is a search committee composed of five people including four staff from within the library itself. This is standard for searches in the library.
Susan Ellingson, education professor, said that her department has been asked to be involved with filling position and has a faculty member on the committee.
“They’ve asked us to put together reasons why we think the position is important, and they’ve talked to our chair, and they’ve welcomed input from the rest of us in the department as well,” Ellingson said.
It is especially important that the education department contributes to the search for a new curriculum librarian because of the importance of the curriculum library for their students. The curriculum library has children’s books, language books, textbooks and instruction manuals—all to help students supplement their instruction.
Any potential candidates will have to fill specific requirements such as having a master’s degree from an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies, a knowledge of fiction and nonfiction children’s and young literature, a high degree of computer literacy and experience with information technologies in K-12 and higher education, evidence of strong oral and written communication skills, effective leadership skills and excellent interpersonal skills, they must be able to demonstrate commitment to quality customer service, along with being able to work with a diverse community and express- ing sympathy with the aims and objectives of a liberal arts college.
Laura Probst, library director, discussed the many issues that can be faced in finding a librarian that will fit in with the Concordia environment.
“The challenge in any search is to find an individual who would bring the knowledge and skills necessary for the position and who has the potential to be successful in the position and to help the college achieve its mission and strategic goals,” Probst said. “When we hire librarians, we look for people who are collaborative, creative, and who are committed to working with students.”
The curriculum librarian will have a thorough knowledge of the material and help students do research to find the materials and databases that the curriculum library has. This is especially important for students in the education department.
“The curriculum librarian is kind of like an extension of our department because that person enables the students to make very good use of the incredible resources that are available in the curriculum library,” Probst said.
According to Stranberg, the tasks usually reserved just for the curriculum librarian have been divided into smaller tasks and distributed among the other librarians on staff. This can sometimes cause issues as it can overwhelm work- loads and make it unclear who is in charge of what since the curriculum librarian position is such a multipurpose role.
Probst said that the library has gone to great lengths in the past year to fill any holes left when previous curriculum librarian Connie Jones left Concordia.
“When Connie Jones retired last spring we knew that we would be lacking her expertise until
we hired her successor. For this academic year we have shared her responsibilities among our existing faculty and staff. Some of the class sessions that Connie taught haven’t been done this year, but many sessions were taught by our other librarians,” Probst said. “We have also used temporary funding to increase the hours of our daytime reference librarian and to hire an outside consulting librarian to work with the collection. It has been a busy year for us and I’m grateful that my talented and dedicated colleagues have been willing to take on additional work this year.”
The staff at the Carl B. have worked hard to make sure that students are still getting as much help and access to resources as possible, but hiring a new curriculum librarian will no doubt be beneficial for students, faculty, and library staff.