This week we utilized the IMPACT rubric to score the libraries we are working with. The rubric was enlightening in some areas but mostly it showed the weaknesses in the library that we are already aware of. After going through the rubric to see where the library falls on the scale I created a logic model for goals that the library should achieve based off of the rubric. I will say I learned a lot about my own technology deficiencies while trying to create and organize this. We were given a couple of templates within google docs that I just could not format to meet my needs for the logic model I had in mind and the software I typically use for work is not something viable I can use for this so I scrambled and stumbled a lot before finally getting it together on google drawings which was a saving grace for me. It was so easy to use and allowed me to not have a complete meltdown. I was able to get my logic model up and running with the end goal being to get the library up to IMPACT standards via a full functional MTAC, increasing collaboration by 25% and increasing the collection to have 15 books per student. From the logic model I was able to create an objective outline for each of these three objectives with each having questions of where to start, how to gather data for them and then what the intermediate goals were. I will say I think that the intermediate goals were the hardest part because I felt like leaping from the questions and data to the end goal and had a hard to finding that middle ground from time to time. Overall I feel like this was a good assignment for me to struggle through, I needed to learn the technology piece and I really enjoyed having several ways to work through goals and objectives for the library. The logic model and the objective worksheet were different ways of writing the same information and I feel like that really helps to hone the ideas that you have. I hope to garner feedback that will help me learn and grow to be better at these things and look forward to what else I will learn as I progress through this project in the coming weeks.
I enjoyed the report from the field article but I had a hard time really processing that information. I am not sure if I just couldn’t process how best to discuss what I read. I liked the study and I think it provided some very valuable information on the importance of literacy I just feel I got more out of the Donham chapter this round. In Donham, I was surprised to see the breakdown of a principal’s day. I understand that there are many demands on a principal’s time and that they have to divide their time between but the actual breakdown from the survey conducted was really interesting. While reading the information on administration and the principal role I kept thinking back to the interview I completed with a principal. I couldn’t help but compare how the principal I spoke with compared to the standards and survey feedback. I think that his schedule is very similar to the feedback provided and he seems to want to get to a place where he can meet the standards but he doesn’t seem to know how to make that happen.
I really like the idea of splitting some of the responsibilities up between the administration, teacher leaders and even the librarian in order to allow the principal to meet standards while also giving others a shot at leadership which will provide them chances for advancement. While I work outside of the education system, I find that many people in leadership roles do not understand what being a leader means and how to implement that in their daily lives. Many times they are managing a team but not leading it and while that seems like a minute difference it is actually quite large. I think that in giving others throughout the school the opportunity to complete tasks that a leader does you are giving them the skills to become leaders and to advance their careers. We all grow when we create more leaders and build leadership skills. I think that a combined effort method would do wonders for a school system and for all who participated.
This project was terrifying, I kept thinking I understood advocacy but it turns out I was wrong. It isn’t that I don’t understand the concept or that it isn’t important but that when planning this out I find that I seem to confuse what is promotion and what is advocacy. I really appreciated all of the feedback on how to do better in the future because each piece of feedback will help push me to be a better librarian. While I would say this is not my finest work now that I understand where I went wrong I appreciate the entire process to learn more about the library, about advocacy and even my own writing. I learned a lot about the administration of the school I worked with and I would like to get better at advocacy for myself but them as well. I think with a better understanding of what librarians do and how what we do benefits the school and the stakeholders.
I know that in growing the collection we will provide improved literacy, test scores, have the ability to enhance the curricula, provide the skill set to function in a global society, and promote a love of reading that will span beyond their time in school. In ensuring that different formats are available we are allowing the different types of readers to find themselves in the library and read in a manner that best works for them. The end goal is to collaborate on a more consistent basis with all teachers with a diverse set of books to bring a passion for reading and promote interest in the assignments provided by the teachers. This will also waterfall into building a better library layout, one that is designed by a librarian to bring the most benefits to the stakeholders as possible. While separate from this project it is happening in tandem with my efforts, the librarian is adding a makerspace with materials for high school projects. This new space and the bookcases we were approved for will bring a better atmosphere to the library while we build the collection to where it needs to be.
This project has been an interesting foray into the life of a librarian. I absolutely believe in the importance of advocacy for the library because we hear so often that libraries are dying out. I think that if everyone in the school and community have a better understanding of what a library and the librarians can do it will provide more acceptance and utilization of the library. The advocacy project seemed like an easy task, tell my stakeholder group what was needed for the library and how that would benefit the school as a whole. I didn’t think about how much research and effort it would take to talk a group into why this was important, what it could do for each of the stakeholder groups, how we could measure the impacts, etc. I think that the research definitely helped to make me feel more confident in my decisions and helped build a better project, hopefully.
A few weeks ago I answered this question, If your administrator stopped you in the hall now and asked why your library program and position are important to student learning.
I don’t think that my answer would change much from then to now. I still believe everything I said. While I have more research under my belt it is for this particular project and that is important for the library but I think that my initial response was created to give the impression of what the overall importance of the library is. I think that it is wildly undervalued as are the librarians that serve it. The library is seen as a place that you can check out books and use the computer but there are so many things that a librarian can assist stakeholders with. They can collaborate with teachers to enhance curricula, they can create workshops and videos to teach stakeholders how to use technology, properly cite sources, find the best resources for research, etc. They keep the collection diversified and up to par with the size of the school, network and go to conferences to build understanding of new technology and tools to assist classroom and school efforts. There are so many things a librarian can do and advocacy is a big tool in order to complete these efforts because the library is not seen as important as it once was. Advocacy allows the stakeholders to see what the librarian has to offer and take part in those efforts to better themselves, their classrooms and the school as a whole.
When I tell people what my major is, I get asked why do you need a masters degree? Do you need all that time to learn the dewey decimal system? What does a librarian do besides stock shelves with books and put them in order?
Who knows what the librarian does? Well the librarian does and should work with the stakeholders of the school to let them know what they can offer and how they can provide for the needs of the school and the stakeholders. Recently I interviewed a teacher, a librarian and an administrator about different roles and responsibilities held by the librarian and I found that the knowledge of what a librarian can do is not widely known even within the school so I wanted to take the time and write why this role is important and why the library itself is important.
The library is there to provide a safe space for stakeholders to find the information, literature, programs, etc that they are looking for. This should include how to enhance research methods, citation lessons or pointers, assistance with job searches, and so much more. The librarian is there to assist teachers through co-teaching or collaboration where the librarian will offer assistance to enhance a project or assist with a lesson by providing a new technology component. A librarian should promote a love of reading by ensuring the collection is up to date and will review the checkout data to ensure that the books that are in the collection are what the stakeholders want and need. The librarian should attend conferences (local, state and national, if possible) and network with other librarians to learn what works, what doesn’t, get ideas on how to enhance the library but also to learn of new technologies and how they can improve the learning/teaching processes.
The library and the librarian are essential to enhancing, growing and changing to meet the needs of the school. They are there to lead the school towards the goals they have and ensure they are met. It is important to have this role available because they can teach not only the students but all stakeholders about important tips, tricks and technologies that can bring interactive, engaging and enhanced methods of learning, teaching and researching. They can also teach the importance of safety in using the technologies through digital literacy training.
There are many things a librarian can do to bring the school closer to its goals but they cannot do these things without the help, advocacy and cooperation of all stakeholders in the school. They can provide data and reasoning for all of their decisions but they should have the support of the school to help make all of the goals a reality.