Skip To Main Content

Roles and Responsibilities

SMCPS Library Media Specialists

The school library media program is designed to build independent, life-long learners. Information literacy is critical to teaching and learning in the 21st century. The MSDE Standards for School Library Media Programs in Maryland states, "The school library media program provides instruction, resources and services to assist students and teachers in becoming critical thinkers in the pursuit and use of ideas and information."

Naturally, the role of the 21st century library media specialist in Maryland has evolved into a four parts: teacher, instructional partner, information specialist, and program administrator.


  • Collaborates with students and other members of the learning community to determine learning and information needs
  • Locates and uses materials to meet the needs of the community
  • Understands and communicates the information the resources provide
  • Knowledgeable about current research and findings on teaching and learning and skilled in applying its findings to a variety of situations—particularly those that call upon students to access, evaluate, and use information from multiple sources in order to learn, to think, and to create and apply new knowledge
  • Curricular leader (i.e., participates on the instructional team)
  • Constantly updates personal skills and knowledge in order to work effectively with teachers, administrators and other staff—both to expand their general understanding of information issues and to provide them with specific opportunities to develop sophisticated skills in information literacy, including the uses of informational technology

Instructional Partner

  • Joins with teachers and others to identify links across student information needs, curricular content, learning outcomes, and a wide variety of print, nonprint, and electronic information resources
  • Develops policies, practices, and curricula that guide students in developing the full range of information and communication abilities
  • Works closely with individual teachers in the critical areas of designing authentic learning tasks and assessments and integrating the information and communication abilities required to meet content standards
  • Provides training to other educators

Information Specialist

  • Provides leadership and expertise in acquiring and evaluating information resources in all formats
  • Brings awareness of information issues into collaborative relationships with teachers, administrators, students, and others
  • Models for students and others the strategies for locating, accessing, and evaluating information within and beyond the library media center
  • Masters sophisticated electronic resources and maintains a constant focus on the nature, quality, and ethical use of information available in these and more traditional tools

Program Administrator

  • Works collaboratively with members of the learning community to define the policies of the library media program and to guide and direct all the activities related to the program
  • Advocates for the library media program in support of the school improvement plan and provides the knowledge, vision, and leadership to steer it creatively and energetically in the 21st Century (collecting this data)
  • Manages staff, budgets, equipment and facilities
  • Plans, executes and evaluates the program to ensure its quality both at a general level and on a day to day basis
  • Develops and maintains a collection of materials that support teaching and learning in our schools.