When administrators appreciate the value of a school library program, led by dynamic and knowledgeable teacher librarians, they understand that collaboration is the root of successful teaching and learning for the school community. They also understand the return on investment in the multiple roles of the school librarian-in literacy, professional development, technology integration, and instruction. Usually that one person collaborates on many levels with everyone, students and educators, at one time or another. Teacher librarians are masters at the spinning plates act-and are passionate about their work.
Other administrators are not always sure what teacher librarians do, so how can we begin to shift that paradigm?
Joyce Valenza, in a recent post on her Neverending Search Blog (April 5, 2014) featured a film titled “Principals Know: School Librarians are the Heart of the School.” Dr. Judi Moreillon and Dr. Teresa Starrett at Texas Women’s University collaborated to create this powerful message. The film and Joyce’s interview with Judi provide a scenario for reaching administrators in pre-service programs. Testimonials by principals across the country reflect the ongoing day to day contributions of teacher librarians in the field, not just theoretical research. (There is plenty of that elsewhere, too!)
Support for ongoing school library programs requires conversations about the benefits of a school library program, among all stakeholders. Principals, superintendents, curriculum directors, and other school district leaders who begin these conversations while they are in training, come to administrative positions better prepared to make educational decisions about school library programs.
Another potential value of this film is for advocating the value of school libraries with school boards, local district administrators, and other community members. Be sure to bookmark the links from today’s post, so that you can have them at your fingertips for future advocacy. Keep building that advocacy toolbox!
Valenza, Joyce. (2014, April 5) Principals know: school librarians are the heart of the school. Neverending Search. (weblog) http://blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch/2014/04/05/principals-know-school-librarians-are-the-heart-of-the-school/
Image: Microsoft Clipart