Trade Unions for School Librarians

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. Posts may be edited from the original blog. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

trade unionOK, I know I’ve done a couple of posts already today but instead of talking my fiance’s ears off, I’ve decided to rant on the web instead.

This time it’s about trade unions. I work in a school library as the librarian. I am at risk from children saying something inappropriate because they think it’s funny. There are all sorts of kids in our school as well as extremely bright ones – but then there are different levels of daftness.

I was witness to this last year. My assistant asked a child to stop reaching behind the desk. The child kept picking up pens, notepads, literally anything movable and playing with them. She was finding it hard understanding personal space I think. Anyway, the girl put her hand out with that annoying look that says “what you gonna do about it?”

My assistant puts her hand out (it was nowhere near the child I was standing right next to her so could see this) and asked her to stop. She was at least a few inches away from the child’s hand. Next thing I know the kid is crying “she hit me”. Becase I saw what happened I just ignored her overacting (she should really take up drama) and then she left a few minutes later laughing with her friends.

If she had been a nasty kid she could have caused a whole load of trouble for us. Luckily for us the kids at my school aren’t bad. …but it only takes one bad kid….

Which leads me to my grumble of the day. The various teachers unions won’t take us on because we are not teachers. Even though it is part of a librarians job to teach kids about library and information skills and give inductions and we are at the same risk of unfounded litigation. Given this we are left in the cold with nowhere to go – least of all CILIP. At least trade unions if we could get in to one would use the fees (which are less than CILIPs by the way) to help pay legal costs if such an eventuality happened.

How is this fair?

Even though I am starting to love this job – I am also starting to think the risks are outweighing the ups.

Present day note: This was one of the reasons I left the school. I was looking at after too many children on my own which I felt was risky for them and me. I’m not risk averse but 60 children with just me looking after them, felt just a little scary!

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