Books, check. Scanner, check. Spheros plugged in, check. Advocacy plan for promoting the awesome things we do in the library, check. Wha wha, What?
The days of sitting in our libraries quietly and doing awesome things are over. With many school districts moving to the model of not having a full-time librarian in their schools, it is imperative that we show just how vital we are to a school. We know that librarians are vital to increasing reading, as shown by Kachel and Lance’s article “Latest Study: A full-time librarian makes a critical difference in boosting student achievement” in School Library Journal. But I would also assert that for our students, we are vital to creating a culture of innovators and getting kids #futureready. And supporting our teachers with engaging, research-based instructional opportunities is vital to adding value to our school’s learning culture. We know the stereotypes that surround our profession: No, we don’t read all day long. So, how do we make it so we are working towards keeping our jobs around for tomorrow and next year?
As librarians, we need to advocate the value of our services to our patrons (kiddos and teachers), and when awesome things happen, we Tweet, post, and share it with the world.
Simple strategy, but it takes time. I’m not going to sugar coat this and say that it can all be done in as little as ten minutes a week. Realistically, it’s like a good librarian friend of mine said ” I work hard every day to make sure I have a job tomorrow”. It’s not about proving our worth, because the value of a library is easy to see. For me it started with a need to amplify my signal about bridging the gap between providing library services and managing a makerspace.
Of course it is essential to examine the culture of your school and to determine if any of your advocacy plans go beyond and district or school policies.