The job of the school librarian demands almost constant attentiveness to the needs of others: finding resources and scaffolding questions, guiding diverse paths of literacy, and encouraging persistence. As a lifelong learner—and I know you are, because you're reading SLC in the summer!—the knowledge you rely on to serve these needs is deepening all the time. To some extent, you get to record this expertise in your yearly professional evaluations, and hopefully this process provides useful guidance on your growth and ongoing improvement of the school library. But who really sees that document, besides you and your administrators? May I suggest taking a few moments this summer shine a light on you, and what you do, in a more tangible and immediate way? Below, I've listed a few ideas and resources for resumes, social media, biographical notes, and headshots. These aren't always actions related to job seeking; view these as professional caretaking steps that present you, and in turn, the school library and your school, in a current, intentional, and positive way. Plus, you'll have your info updated and ready to submit with grant proposals, to post on your library website or social media accounts, or to use in other professional opportunities.
Freshen up your resume.ALA suggests resume tips for librarians, and I especially like the action word list at the bottom: http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/employment/career-resources/resumes/guidelines. ASCD's Job Ramp offers Resume Help for educators: http://www.ascd.org/job-ramp/pathfinder/resume-help.aspx. Inventory your social media presence. Check out Nikki Robertson's take on expanding sound bytes into valuable contributions: http://www.nikkidrobertson.com/2017/06/5-tips-for-new-school-librarians-and.html. AASL's Standards Social Media website lists hashtags, discussion forums, and communities of practice: https://standards.aasl.org/social-media/. To learn about building diversity in your PLN, view the lesson, "Services for Black Youth: Getting Started in Your Library (Lesson 7)" from Sandra Hughes-Hassell and Casey Rawson's workshop and review the accompanying activity: Craft a succinct bio statement. Try the SLC Submission Guidelines template to get you started. Consider lining up a new headshot.At our state school library conference this past March, headshots were offered to attendees—cool right? See if this is something your state conference offers, or do what I did last year: ask to sneak a headshot into a family holiday photo session.
Speaking of updates, this summer, we welcome Liz Deskins and Dr. Meghan Harper as new columnists. Liz and Meghan will be co-authoring Research into Practice, stepping in for Lucy Santos Green and Michelle Maniaci Folk. We appreciate you, Lucy and Michelle! Thank you for sharing your knowledge and perspectives with us. And welcome to the column, Liz and Meghan!
Liz Deskins, M.A., a high school librarian in Hilliard, Ohio. In her 30+ years as a school librarian she has taught in elementary, high school and college. She is now an adjunct professor for Kent State University. Meghan Harper, Ph.D, is a Professor at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. She serves as the Coordinator of the School Library program in the School of Information and teaches in the area of Youth Services in the School of Information. In this issue's column, Deskins and Harper offer ideas for recharging your batteries this summer, with plentiful suggestions of books, workshops, and resources for energizing your personal and professional self. In upcoming issues of SLC, they will present approachable applications of library and education research. They'll keep you abreast of new studies and even "classic" findings as a means of connecting your work to the research, theory, and evidence that drives best practices.
In another column update, you'll see some new directions from returning author Stony Evans, whose Connection Points column debuts this month. Stony will examine relationship building with students, teachers, administrators, and parents, effective communication strategies, and ways to build community in your school. Stony also starts a new position this fall as teacher librarian at Bethel Middle School in Alexander, Arkansas, so we are excited to hear about his new connections this year!