Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Support Your Principal, Courtesy of Library Girl

While the news from around our state isn't always good when it comes to staffing our K-12 libraries with qualified teacher librarians, it would be irresponsible and short-sighted of us already in the profession to throw up our hands and believe that we can do nothing to affect the changes we want to see. As we continue to push for teacher librarians in our schools, how do we approach administration thoughtfully and with realistic suggestions that can impact hiring?

Librarian and advocate Jennifer LaGarde, Library Girl to many, has written about this on her blog The Adventures of Library Girl, and the post also appears in the May 2016 School Library Connection. In her open letter to principals, she recommends that they look for several things in their teacher librarian candidates:

  1. Someone who loves children more than books
  2. The right person vs. the right degree
  3. Data & outcomes
  4. Someone who can grow readers, not just improve reading scores
  5. A leader
  6. A learner
As you look at her recommendations, how do you see yourself reflected in them? What areas are your strengths? Or the areas where you could grow? 

While not every Iowa district is actively hiring teacher librarians to serve in their schools, we must continue to influence conversations as candidates do indeed meet with interview teams and administrators in this hiring season. As leaders in your buildings and districts, support principals and administrators as they search for your teacher librarian colleagues.