, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 17–26 | Cite as

Blurred Lines: The School Librarian and the Instructional Technology Specialist

  • Melissa P. JohnstonEmail author


Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs (AASL, 2009) charges school librarians “to play a leading role in weaving such skills throughout the curriculum so that all members of the school community are effective users of ideas and information” (p. 46). Providing leadership in technology integration for the purposes of learning is paramount and the responsibility for leading this movement to prepare learners for participating and succeeding in our global society is seemingly placed with school librarians. While school librarians were once the sole person responsible for technology in the schools, the proliferation of technology in education has resulted in the emergence and adaptation of roles and responsibilities, one such role being the instructional technology specialist. This article reports findings on how the presence of an instructional technology specialist can either enable or deter a school librarian enacting a leadership role in technology integration.


instructional technology specialist school librarian technology integration leadership 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. American Association of School Librarians (AASL). (2007). Standards for the 21st-century learner. Chicago: American Library Association. Retrieved from
  2. American Association of School Librarians (AASL). (2009). Empowering learners: Guidelines for school library media programs. Chicago: American Library Association.Google Scholar
  3. American Association of School Librarians (AASL) & Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT). (1998). Information power: Building partnerships for learning. Chicago: American Library Association.Google Scholar
  4. Ausband, L. T. (2006). Instructional technology specialists and curriculum work. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39(1), 1–21. doi: 10.1080/15391523.2006.10782470 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Babbie, E. (2004). The practice of social research. (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  6. Cameron, E. M. (1999). School Media Specialist and School Technology Specialist: Partners in Information Technology? (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from Scholar
  7. Elkins, A. J. (2014). What’s expected, what’s required, what’s measured: A comparative qualitative content analysis of the national professional standards for school librarians, and their job descriptions and performance evaluations in Florida. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (3637976).Google Scholar
  8. Everhart, N., & Dresang, E. T. (2006, January). School library media specialists for the 21st century: Leaders in education make a difference. Paper presented at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) National Conference, San Antonio, TX.Google Scholar
  9. Everhart, N., Mardis, M., & Johnston, M. P. (2012). National Board Certified school librarians’ leadership in technology integration: Results of a national survey. School Library Media Research, 14. Retrieved from
  10. Clark, R., & Maynard, M. (1998). Using online technology for secondary analysis of survey research data - Act globally, think locally. Social Science Computer Review, 16(1), 58–71. doi: 10.1177/089443939801600108 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gunter. G. A., & Lee. J. R. (1998). Instructional strategies for developing a teaching and learning technologybased curriculum. In G. Tucker, C. Gunn, & S. D. Lapan (Eds.). Technology, integration, and learning environments: CEE monograph: The NAU centennial year of education: Monograph series No. 5 (Report No. IR 018 950). Syracuse. NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information and Technology. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 421 978)Google Scholar
  12. Hanson-Baldauf, D., & Hughes-Hassell, S. (2009). The information and communication technology competencies of students enrolled in school library media certification programs. Library and Information Science Research, 31(1), 3–11. doi: 10.1016/j.lisr.2008.03.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harris, A., & Muijs, D. (2005). Teacher leadership and school improvement. In A. Harris & D.Google Scholar
  14. Muijs (Eds.) Improving schools through teacher leadership (pp. 37–44). New York, NY: Open UniversityGoogle Scholar
  15. Hew, K. F., & Brush, T. (2007). Integrating technology into K-12 teaching and learning: Current knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 55(3), 223–252. doi: 10.1007/s11423-006-9022-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2000). National educational technology standards for students: Connecting curriculum and technology. Retrieved from
  17. International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). (2010). The role of school librarians in promoting the use of educational technologies. Retrieved from http://sigms.iste.
  18. Johnston, M. P. (2013). Collaborative planning: The school librarian + the technology specialist. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 70–75.Google Scholar
  19. Johnston, M. P. (2012). School librarians as technology integration leaders: Enablers and barriers to leadership enactment. School Library Research, 15(1). Retrieved from
  20. Katzenmeyer, M., & Moller, G. (2009). Awakening the sleeping giant: Helping teachers develop as leaders (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.Google Scholar
  21. Ledesma, P. (2011, Oct.). Technology experts in schools: Teacher leaders or technicians? Retrieved from technology_experts_in_schools_teacher_leaders_or_technicians.html
  22. Moursund, D. (1992). The technology coordinator. Retrieved from ~moursund/TechCoordinator/technology-coordinator.pdf
  23. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). (2010). Library Media Standards (2nd ed.). Retrieved from
  24. Neuendorf, K. (2002). The content analysis guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  25. Nguyen, T. T. (2007). Technology tango: Perceptions of the roles of school technology coordinators and library media specialists. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (3261808).Google Scholar
  26. Partnerships Advancing Library Media (PALM) Center, Florida State University (2009). School library media specialist and technology integration survey. Unpublished instrument. Retrieved from
  27. Pruitt, R. H. (2008). From teacher to teacher leader: Barriers and supporting factors within an American-sponsored overseas school. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (3341176).Google Scholar
  28. Robbins, N. (2000, Winter). Technology subcultures and indicators associated with high technology performance in schools. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 33(2). Google Scholar
  29. Robertson, M. O. (2008). Distributing leadership to teachers through a district level math council. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (3296859).Google Scholar
  30. Shannon, D. M. (2002). The education and competencies of school library media specialists: A review of the literature. School Library Media Research, 5. Retrieved from
  31. Strudler, N. & Hearrington, D. (2008). Quality support for ICT in schools. In J. Voogt & G. Knezek (Eds.), International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education Volume 20 (pp. 579- 596). New York, NY: Springer. doi:  10.1007/978-0-387-73315-9_34
  32. Seavers, V. B. (2002). Extent of collaboration between the school library media specialist and the school-level technology specialist within the state of Florida. (Doctoral Dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (3069460).Google Scholar
  33. Sugar, W., & Holloman, H. (2009). Technology leaders wanted: Acknowledging the leadership role of the technology coordinator. TechTrends, 53(6), 66–75. doi: 10.1007/s11528-009-0346-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vaughan, L. (2001). Statistical methods for the information professional: A practical, painless approach to understanding, using, and interpreting statistics. Medford, NJ: Information Today.Google Scholar
  35. Zinn, L. P. (1997). Supports and barriers to teacher leadership: Reports of teacher leaders. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International. (304369244)Google Scholar
  36. Zinn, L. P. (1997b, March). Supports and barriers to teacher leadership: Reports of teacher leaders. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

Personalised recommendations