Why are media paraprofessionals essential?

Media Center Paraprofessional Duties:


Research

  • assists students, teachers and parents in finding books, resources, and materials, pulls books supporting standards for teachers, leads instructional centers during lessons, assists in creating resource lists and collection development

Collection Maintenance

  • shelves hundreds of books each week, shelves, processes and labels new materials, repairs damaged books and materials, inventories all books and materials, creates displays of new materials, and discards damaged books and equipment, weeds collection,runs variety of reports, tracks overdue notices

Supervision

  • supervises the library while the school library media specialist teaches, is in collaborative meeting or is fixing technology,  while librarian coaches students for Battle of the Books or Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl, works one on one with students, assists in small group instruction when classes have lessons in the library (some librarians see thirty or more classes each week), supervises while media specialist focuses on collection development, preparing resource lists or writing grants (thousands of dollars of grants were written by Clarke County Media Specialists last year) and while the media specialist plans inservice training to teachers

Additional Duties:

  • Laminates materials for teachers
  • provides tech support for all teachers


Outside of the Media Center, Media Paraprofessionals supervise all students daily during:

  • Breakfast, lunch, car, bus, or hall duty
  • In computer labs


Cutting media paraprofessionals could result in

  • the inability to provide tech support to teachers
  • limit implementation of district initiatives for 21st century schools
  • hamper collaboration on standards-based lessons
  • limit student checkout and hours media center is open as there will be no one to cover the center when the Media Specialist is away for planning, meetings, and events
  • limit media specialist led professional development (crucial for 21st Century Schools)
  • limit special programs and reading incentives
  • limit media specialist in teaching digital literacy as more technology is introduced to the schools
  • increase in number of technology help desk tickets/requests
  • decrease in use of technology as staff members wait for assistance with troubleshooting or responses to help desk tickets

Schools without media paraprofessionals have seen their circulation statistics drop 11-17%.

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