Buffy Hamilton on Librarians working with teaching staff

The post on the Unquiet Librarian Buffy Hamilton’s blog is called The Librarian as a Catalyst and Learning Specialist in K-12

English teacher Lisa Kennedy and librarian Buffy Hamilton discuss partnerships for learning between the librarian and classroom teacher; they also share how this partnership between librarian and teacher influences Lisa’s evolution as a teacher and her instructional design and in turn, Buffy’s practice as a librarian.

Looking for opportunities to sell your skills to teaching staff, to get them working with you collaboratively can be really challenging.  Sometimes they just don’t see what you can do to help them.  It is comforting to know that even Librarians such as Buffy Hamilton have grown to see their role working with teachers as being intrinsic to their school libraries from not really seeing that as part of their jobs.  Working with teachers is great on so many levels, not the least of these is that teachers see the librarian as a fellow professional with knowledge and skills which can be used in classroom as well as the library.  It is great when you get teaching staff to understand the full range of things the librarian can be useful for, all those honed skills which we use daily for search, management of information and research can be shared with teaching staff and then flow on to students which leads to better skills overall.

I know it’s really hard to get these collaborations started.  Anybody got some great ideas to share about starting points for collaboration.  Examples where it’s gone really well that others might be able to use?

You will see more videos on this theme in the related videos at the end.

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  1. #1 by The Unquiet Librarian on December 27, 2011 - 2:46 AM

    Hi! Thanks for sharing the link to this entry from this fall. I’m not sure if I’m reading your comments correctly, but if I am, I’d like to point out that my work has always been learning-focused. Actually, if you take a look at my body of work published in print and archived on the web, you’ll see that my focus on learning and my collaboration with teachers has been of value and integral to what I do for a number of years now, not something that has just recently become important. I just wanted to clarify any misconceptions that the work I’m doing with teachers like Lisa is new or recent–I’m happy to provide you a list of recommended reads I’ve composed if you’d like.


    • #2 by Bridget Schaumann on January 12, 2012 - 12:42 AM

      Hi Buffy, thanks for your comment, loads of us here in NZ follow your work with great interest. The way you work with learners and teachers is something we use as exemplars here in NZ. You often provide me with really good ideas and ways of approaching our staff that I’ve tried to incorporate into the work I do in our library and I know I’m not alone in this. In times where school library staff in NZ find their jobs under threat we need to find ways of connecting with our school communities and proving our worth, the example of your work with Lisa seemed to me to be something that many of us would emulate in our schools. Thanks for your willingness to share your work, and I for one will continue to follow your work with interest. Cheers, Bridget

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