Friday, December 18, 2015

Ten Ways Teacher Librarians Are Being Watched...and what you should do about it!

Ten Ways Teacher Librarians Are Being Watched

The big question school librarians need to ask themselves is, "What am I doing to drive students and teachers toward the library?"   

If your campus sees you reading, what are you doing with it? 

Tell them how you plan to share books with students. Create interactions between students and authors (in person, Skype, book festivals, comic cons).  Send out weekly book reviews via email, or get on your school television to play book trailers.  We always put out signs that say "Get Caught Reading."  We should also get caught.  Being a role model and getting excited about reading can only lead to more readers.

If your campus sees you on your computer, what are you creating or learning?

How do you share what you've learned with everyone? Email, infographics, word of mouth, posters…be creative!  Send out links to new tools you've used and let your campus know you're there to help them integrate it.  Use your technology in the library and halls by creating posters or anchor charts to help students as well as show off your mad skills

If your campus sees you behind the circ desk what services are you providing? 

Show them how you connect with people to create a user-friendly library. We are a customer-based service and they should always come first.  Make sure you always have a smile on your face no matter what.  Look at your signage and get rid of negative aspects and re-word them.  Give great eye contact instead of looking at your screen while they tell you what they need.  Patrons should ALWAYS come first.

If your campus sees you in the library, what are you doing with the space? 

Space is visual and shows people who the library reaches beyond just books and reading.  Makerspaces, learning commons, communal spaces, study areas are just a few.  Dress up the walls and shelves not only with books, but also with students projects.  And never let your displays go stale.  Change them up at least every month.  Students will notice...

If your campus doesn’t see you, where are you going? 

What types of professional development are you going to and how have you implemented it into the library?  Bring back ideas and implement them rather that tell everyone what a great conference it was.  Create an online resume to not only show what you've attended but what you've taught as well.  Professional development is two-sided, so make sure people know you're a teacher who CAN teach as well as a students who wants to learn.

If your campus sees you with a class what are you teaching? 

Work with teachers to create a collaboration of teaching, not a substitution for the teacher.  Together, create lessons on project based learning using technology, research, imagination.  Show off your skills by teaching new tools, talking about research in the 21st century...but most of all, be adaptable to ANY class, whether it's English lit or physics.  

If your campus sees you in the halls, why are you out of the library? 

Interacting with students and teachers outside of the library creates deeper relationships (and it makes them wonder why you’re “out of bounds”.) Be a mystery with a purpose.  Go talk to those teachers that never use the library and invite them in.  Ask questions about them both personally and professionally.  And don't be afraid to tell them about yourself both ways as well.  Bring handouts or bookmarks to give out during your walks to share library information and love.

If you campus sees you in a meeting, how are you involved? 

Being part of a team is the builder of great libraries and programs.  From leadership to PLC to virtual PLNs, get involved!  You are the voice of the library, one of those nebulous parts of the campus that doesn't have a department and only usually has one professional.  Make your voice count by showing how libraries can impact academics.

If your campus sees you online, what sites are they looking at? 

Make your online presence strong through the information you provide and accessibility to the sites you create or are a part of. Create a dynamic library website or use social media to show how the library can make a difference in students’ and teachers’ lives.  Take it from vitual to physical by creating bulletin boards centered around your social media.  Print out those tweets, posts and images and share them.

If your campus sees you between the stacks, what are you working on?

Reading is just part of what we do.  Displays, pulling books for resources, shelf talking are things that only happen between the stacks, and it’s an important space to invade regularly. Oftentimes students "hide out" in the stacks, perhaps to find a book, perhaps to hide.  Bring in your device and show them how they can find a book, download an e-book or follow your virtual bookshelf.


Patricia A. Sarles, MA, MLS, MSEd said...

Much food for thought here! Thank you! Would make a great published article too!

spudsomma said...

Naomi, you packed a lot in this blog post! I'm glad I have two more weeks of winter break so I can assess the rest of my school year using your ideas. Thank you!