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Librarian at Walker Middle Magnet School recognized as one in a million

ODESSA, Fla (WFLA) - According to the American Association of School Librarians, the month of April is School Library Month.

In News Channel 8's search to find a librarian in honor of School Library Month, we found a lot of schools do not have a traditional librarian on the staff. And other schools fill the position with staff members who have other responsibilities. 

So while the position of school librarian is becoming extinct, over at Walker Middle Magnet School in Odessa they have a full-fledged librarian who helps over 200 kids a day learn how to navigate the library. 

"Throughout history, libraries have been where we go to learn, discover, plan, experiment and connect. The way we do those activities now looks very different from the past and so our school libraries have evolved too," said Walker Middle Magnet School Media Specialist Sara LaBarbera. "We braid together more traditional resources (like print and audiovisual) with contemporary technologies and digital resources in order to keep the library as the hub of knowledge and exploration."

LaBarbera said gone are the days of the quiet, inactive antiquated version of the library. She says today's libraries are vibrant, collaborative places of exploration for students.

"These students have a library in their pocket, their phone and they use it academically daily. So if our libraries don't change to meet our users at their comfort level, online with digital resources, then we will not be meeting their needs," LaBarbera said. 

Students at Walker Middle Magnet School have access to a virtual library of resources 24/7 and access to thousands of free eBooks. 

"The current Media Specialist/Librarian's role is to help our students become more effective communicators, collaborators, and creative/critical thinkers," LaBarbera said. "We do this through our resources, both digital and print, MakerSpaces and collaborative lessons to enrich classroom connections so that each student gets what they need, when they need it, and in the format that works best for them."


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