Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Defining Paraprofessional, Part II

We had some really great comments on the last blog post. Thanks to everyone who participated in that discussion. Since then, the Para Board has been emailing back and forth quite a bit, and we've completely revised our definition.

"Paraprofessionals strive to be knowledgeable and proficient in their chosen library field, serving in positions that do not necessarily require a library science degree. Any and all levels of library employees are welcome." 

We've struggled with this definition quite a bit. One question was whether to define "paraprofessional" in terms of the whole library world or just our section of NLA. We chose the latter. Terri Johnson, the Para Section Secretary/Treasurer, observed our section is home to a broad cross-section of workers in all types of libraries, with no limits in terms of degrees. So we had to take care that our definition was not too limiting.

You'll notice that we've adopted some of the wording suggested by Michelle Bullock in the comments of the last post. This new draft of the definition is still a work in progress. We welcome more comments and critiques!