Media Center Specialist K-8

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Organization Philip's Academy Charter School (view profile)
Location Newark
Classification Media Specialist
Job Type Full-Time
Date of posting July 7, 2014
County Essex


Media Center Specialist K-8
Newark, NJ

We are seeking a Media Center Specialist for grades K-8. The Media Center Specialist will report to the Director of Technology and Library Media Services.

Philip's Academy is a co-educational, preparatory charter school for students from pre-kindergarten through grade 8 that provides a rigorous, progressive education for the children of Newark and the surrounding area. Students graduating from Philip's Academy attend a variety of leading day and boarding schools throughout the Northeastern United States.

Broad Responsibilities

With oversight of the media center and technology environments the media specialist is charged with ensuring that students, faculty and staff are effective users of information and ideas. This position will seek to accomplish the following broad goals for the organization:

To empower students to be critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information

To instill a love of learning in all students and ensure equitable access to information

To collaborate with classroom teachers and specialists to design and implement lessons and units of instruction, and assess student learning and instructional effectiveness

To provide the leadership and expertise necessary to ensure that the school library program (SLP) is aligned with the mission, goals, and objectives of the school, and is an integral component of the learning/instructional program


As the leader, the media specialist creates a media room and technological environment where collaboration and creative problem solving thrive. The media specialist is an excellent communicator who instills enthusiasm in others by making them feel that they are vital members of a team. The media specialist demonstrates his or her role as a visible and active leader within the school community, an advocate for the school library program, and a professional member of the school library community by:

• encouraging the use of instructional technology to engage students and to improve learning, providing 24/7 access to digital information resources for the entire learning community
• collecting and analyzing data to improve instruction and to demonstrate correlations between the SLP and student achievement
• maintaining active memberships in professional associations
• remaining current in professional practices and developments, information technologies, and educational research applicable to school library programs

Instructional Partner
As an instructional partner the media specialist works with teachers and other educators to build and strengthen connections between student information and research needs, curricular content, learning outcomes, and information resources.
• participating in the curriculum development process to ensure that the curricula include the full range of literacy skills (information, media, visual, digital, and technological literacy) necessary to meet content standards and to develop lifelong learners
• collaborating with teachers and students to design and teach engaging inquiry and learning experiences and assessments that incorporate multiple literacies and foster critical thinking
• joining with teachers and others to plan and implement meaningful experiences that will promote a love of reading and lifelong learning
• providing and planning professional development opportunities

Information Specialist
As information specialist, the media specialist provides leadership and expertise in the selection, acquisition, evaluation, and organization of information resources and technologies in all formats, as well as expertise in the ethical use of information. The media specialists ensures equitable access and responsible use of information by:

• developing and maintaining a collection of resources appropriate to the curriculum, the learners, and the teaching styles and instructional strategies used within the school community
• meeting the needs of our youngest learners with special attention to print resources
• cooperating and networking with other libraries, librarians, and agencies to provide access to resources outside the school
• modeling effective strategies for developing multiple literacies
• evaluating, promoting, and using existing and emerging technologies to support teaching and learning, supplement school resources, connect the school with the global learning community, communicate with students and teachers, and provide 24/7 access to library services
• understanding copyright, fair use, and licensing of intellectual property, and assisting users with their understanding and observance of the same

As a teacher, the media specialist empowers students to become critical thinkers, enthusiastic readers, skillful researchers, and ethical users of information. The school librarian supports students’ success by guiding them in:
• reading for understanding, for exposure to diversity of viewpoints and genres, and for pleasure
• using information resources
• embracing the world of information and all its formats

Program Administrator
As program administrator, the media specialist works collaboratively with members of the learning community to define the policies of the school library program, and to guide and direct all activities related to it. The media specialist maximizes the efficiency and effectiveness of the school library program by:

• using strategic planning for the continuous improvement of the program
• ensuring that school library program goals and objectives are aligned with school long-range plans
• supervising and evaluating support staff, which may include educational assistants, computer education assistants, volunteers, and student assistants
• preparing, justifying, and administering the school library program budget to support specific program goals
• establishing processes and procedures for selection, acquisition, circulation, resource sharing, etc. that assure appropriate resources are available when needed
• creating and maintaining in the school library a teaching and learning environment that is inviting, safe, flexible, and conducive to student learning
• selecting and using effective technological applications for management purposes
• managing web based and print subscriptions
• participating in the recruiting, hiring, and training of other professionals, educational library assistants, students, and volunteer staff
• arranging for flexible scheduling of the school libraries to provide student accessibility to staff and resources at point of need
• ensuring equitable physical access to school library facilities by providing barrier-free, universally designed environments.

• Qualified candidates will possess a (minimum) Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree, NJ State Certification and are creative, energetic, and flexible with a commitment to children. Previous teaching experience is preferred, but not required.
The start date for this position is no later than August 18, 2014. For more information on the school, visit