This article is doing the rounds on the Australian School Library Listsev at the moment. It makes good reading and would certainly provide a nice meaty musing for someone who was wanting to prove their worth in the school library. The article is mainly talking about primary (elementary) level school libraries but works equally well at secondary level.
“Although the classroom teacher is generally the expert on the content standards, the school librarian is the expert on the process of finding, evaluating, using, creating, and sharing information. Bringing the two together engenders powerful learning opportunities for students and provides professional development to teachers.
After all, part of ensuring that students and teachers have access to the resources of the library is making sure teachers know how to use these resources to enhance instruction. I have been a school librarian/media specialist for 14 years. Throughout my career, I’ve seen many librarians—including myself—guide teachers by modeling how to use cutting-edge resources, leading small-group presentations, and providing one-on-one instruction.”
The final paragraph of the article should give those who think they can do more to engage with their staff a little to mull over
In these hard economic times, schools must use each staff member to the fullest. School librarians have great knowledge about 21st century skills, technology, literacy, and much more. Schools should take advantage of the opportunities this knowledge store can create and run with them—for the benefit of our students.
This is the key. Are you doing all you can? Have you upskilled yourself? Have you really engaged with the school ICT PD? Are you out there selling your new and well developed skills? Do you know what topics are being taught in every subject, and do you have the print resources, and the online resources to cater for your staff and student needs in these areas? Do you REALLY talk to your staff, not just in the staff room over a cuppa, but a meaningful discussion on how you can help support the curriculum?
If you have rested on your laurels and waited for technology to come and find you instead of making it your business to get out there and get into it yourself you are going to get left behind, and if you are not relevant to what your students and staff need, you should be seriously worried about your job.
What do you think? How easy is it to engage with your teaching staff about what you can do for them? Do you have some good examples of what has worked for you? Teachers, can you offer suggestions?