Curriculum Partner: Redefining the Role of the Library Media Specialist

By Carol A. Kearney | Go to book overview

The Change Process: Redefining the Library Media Program
3

Change has had a direct impact on the philosophy and role of library media specialists for the past forty years. Our role in this process has been one of responder. This chapter addresses not only how to better respond to change but how to be an initiator of change--that is, an agent of change or change agent. With an understanding of the characteristics of change as well as an insight into how people react to it, we can successfully initiate and implement change to become a curriculum partner in the instructional program.


RESEARCH AND PRACTICE

Change takes place under various conditions: when it is imposed on us; when we become voluntary participants; or when we initiate it because we find the present situation unsatisfactory. The meaning of change is rarely understood when the change is introduced and people feel ambiguity and uncertainty throughout the process ( Fullan, 1991, 31-32). It is often correlated with a sense of loss and involves struggle. Fear of the unknown is one of the main reasons for resistance to change. The people who create change are risk takers dedicated to a vision, and they take the necessary steps to implement that vision. It requires courage and resolve to create change, but the benefits to students and teachers--as well as the impact on library media programs elsewhere--are immeasurable.


What Are the Characteristics of Change?

Researchers and practitioners have identified specific characteristics of change. The library media specialist who is an agent of change must

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