Friday, January 25, 2013

Go on, brag a little!

Advocating for school libraries is important.

Is that an understatement?  I think it is.  However, as Teacher Librarians we often remember advocacy is important and forget to do anything about it.  We are busy people. We have many roles. We spend our time with students and teachers and books and technology and our hard work is appreciated.... quietly.  Yes, students are excited to read that book you recommended. Yes, teachers are thrilled to collaborate on a project with you. Yes, your principal appreciates your willingness to give a PD session on the latest tech.  But do they see the big picture?

They won’t if you don’t show them.

Our students’ successes (and the role the library program has in them) must be made visible to our stakeholders. Not just to other librarians, not just to the teachers in your building, not even to just your principal. We must make the time to make sure we are communicating with our whole school community - students, teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and beyond.

But how?

How do you communicate about your school library program? How do you keep parents in the loop about what the library has to offer to their children? How do you update your principal about your teaching, collaboration and collection development? How can community members learn more about what part your library plays in the life of the school? What opportunities do students have to play an active role in the library program’s success?

The best advocates we have are those who stand up for our libraries without being asked. But before they can speak up on the behalf of our programs, they need to know what our programs are all about and how student learning is benefited.

Stay tuned for tips, ideas, and examples - meanwhile, share what has worked for you in the comments. Go on, brag a little.