American Association of School Librarians (AASL). “Sample Job Description: Title: School Librarian.” 2010. http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/guidelinesandstandards/learning4life/resources/sample_job_description_L4L.pdf
This list of job requirements and responsibilities of today’s school librarians offers a good starting point for describing the school librarian’s roles to stakeholders. Important tasks listed include the school librarian’s “collaborat[ion] with classroom teachers and specialists to design and implement lessons and units of instruction, and assess[ment of] student learning and instructional effectiveness.”
American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs. Chicago: ALA, 2009.
This book from AASL explains the mission of the school library program, the five roles of the school librarian, and how instruction in the school library synthesizes subject goals with information literacy and inquiry goals, including the Standards for the 21st Century Learner. This book is best used with the Standards for the 21st Century Learner in Action book, also by AASL.
Applegate, Sarah, David Schuster, and Roz Thompson. “Working with Parents, Community Groups, and Businesses.” In, Levitov, Deborah D., Ed. Activism and the School Librarian: Tools for Advocacy and Survival. Santa Barbara: Libraries Unlimited, 2012.
This chapter identifies specific programming ideas for reaching out to community stakeholders “to promote reading and literacy activities, and to motivate and engage students in learning” (73). Look for the suggestions on grant writing, working with the PTA, and award-winning home/school programs.
Bell, Mary Ann, Holly Weimar, and James Van Roekel. School Librarians and the Technology Department: A Practical Guide to Successful Collaboration. Santa Barbara: Linworth, 2013.
This guide is one to read and share with your school’s technology department leaders and staff. Topics include responsibilities, communication, best practices, and staff development.
District Dispatch: The ALA Washington Office.http://www.districtdispatch.org/
District Dispatch is the blog and news site of the American Library Association’s Washington Office. As such, it features updates on policy related to libraries of all kinds, including school libraries. Watch this site around National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) in May for the talking points that ALA members will share with their legislators.
Doll, Carol. Collaboration and the School Library Media Specialist. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2005.
This book examines the collaborative process between school librarians and teachers. An especially helpful component of this book is the examination of barriers to collaboration and how to overcome them.
Harada, Violet H., and Joan M. Yoshina. Assessing for Learning: Librarians and Teachers as Partners. 2nd ed. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2010.
This book emphasizes that assessment is FOR learning, that is, a critical part of an ongoing process for students and teachers, and not just a final step in an instructional experience. There are many key discussions and examples in this book, including specific strategies for formative assessment, such as exit tickets, personal correspondence, logs, and rating scales. Look for the elementary, middle, and high school inquiry project examples to learn how assessment can be integrated across a unit.
Lamb, Annette, and Daniel Callison. Graphic Inquiry. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2012.
This book examines the student inquiry process through images and examples. It is a full-color book with a highly engaging visual format. From this text, “inquiry is a way of learning that prepares students to think for themselves, makes thoughtful decisions, develop areas of expertise, and learn throughout their lives.” Further, “ . . . inquiry is an approach to learning that involves students in finding and using a variety of sources of information and ideas to increase their understanding of a specific area of the curriculum.”
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Media Specialists SIG (SIGMS) Executive Advocacy Committee. “The Role of School Librarians in Promoting the Use of Educational Technologies.” http://www.iste.org/docs/pdfs/the-role-of-school-librarians-in-promoting-the-use-of-educational-technologies_9-10.pdf?sfvrsn=2
This position statement identifies technology and digital media tasks that can fit within the purview of the school librarian, possibly as an individual or in collaboration with technology teachers, coaches, or staff.
Johnston, Melissa. P. “The School Librarian + The Technology Specialist = Partnership for Effective Technology Integration.” Knowledge Quest, 42, no. 1 (2013): 70-75. http://issuu.com/markisan/docs/kq_septoct13_final_tagged/73?
This article offers practical scenarios to illustrate the collaborative potential between school librarians and technology specialists. When relationships are collaborative, and not competitive, the result can be effective instruction and successful student learning.
Kachel, Debra E. “Beyond The Library Door: The Story of Pennsylvania's HR 987.” School Library Monthly27, no. 7 (April 2011)
This article traces the path of a state resolution that led to a comprehensive study of school libraries in Pennsylvania, including a range of advocacy and communication efforts over time.
Loertscher, David V., and Kathryn Roots Lewis. “Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the School Librarian.” Achieve and American Association of School Librarians, November 2013. http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/externalrelations/CCSSLibrariansBrief_FINAL.pdf
Whether or not your state is a “Common Core state,” this guide aligns the inquiry and information processes that librarians teach with the content area curriculum prioritized by classroom teachers and school leaders. This is a shorter guide (not a full-length book) and is available for free download. Use this text to prepare for discussions about how you, as librarian, contribute to student learning.
Miller, Shannon. "Getting Connected in a Connected World.” School Library Monthly 30, no. 8 (May/June 2014).
Shannon Miller’s article illustrates academic, constructive applications of social media, particularly Twitter, in an accessible manner that will help explain this form of communication to stakeholders, including “doubters.” From this piece, “I love how using hashtags not only brings tweets and conversation together, it also brings me together with a group of people that are very similar and motivating to one another.”
Morris, Rebecca J. “You’re Hired: Welcoming New Teachers to the School Library.” Knowledge Quest 43, no. 5 (June 2015): 38–41.
I wrote this article to offer suggestions for building relationships with new teachers and student teachers. As a school librarian, I often found that these groups of stakeholders were curious about the library or asked me if they could bring their students to the library, but not many knew about the instruction and possibilities of the library beyond the books and Internet.
Murvosh, Marta. “Follow the Leaders: Washington State’s Stellar Advocacy Model.” School Library Journal. (October 7, 2013). http://www.slj.com/2013/10/industry-news/follow-the-leaders-washington-states-stellar-advocacy-model/
This article describes the advocacy efforts of the group that came to be known as the “Spokane Moms.” Their story exemplifies several foundational elements of advocacy, including gaining support from others who can speak for the library program (rather than librarians doing all the talking) and emphasizing the library program’s effects on student learning as a advocacy goal, more so that “the librarian’s job.” The librarians’ jobs were an important part of this story, but the student learning was the central focus.
PA School Library Project. http://paschoollibraryproject.org/schlibresearch
This comprehensive website compiles resources related to the statewide school library study and related activities, as described the article by Debra Kachel, above. Included are documents prepared to share with stakeholders, research results, and presentations for building “champions” for school library programs.
Stranack, Kevin. "The Connected Librarian: Using Social Media for ‘Do It Yourself’ Professional Development." Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library & Information Practice & Research 7, no. 1 (January 2012): 1-5.http://gir.uoguelph.ca/index.php/perj/article/view/1924/2514#.Va7RwsZViko
This article discusses the use of social media as a professional development tool in libraries. The author cites Harold Jarche’s three steps in setting up an effective PLN: seeking, sense-making, and sharing, whereby librarians find people and groups for networking, reflect on the ideas, and add new perspectives. Although this article is not school-library specific, it is useful for school librarians.