As we move into Phase 3 of the course, I have been reflecting on the different topics that we have covered, and a few are beginning to slowly emerge as ‘big ideas’ that I plan to explore further. LIBE 477 is only my second course library course, and though I have an immense appreciation for libraries and the role of the Teacher Librarians, this course has demonstrated why Teacher Librarians must be given expanded roles and support in our schools. Advocacy for Teacher Librarians and school libraries is necessary as our curriculum evolves and students are expected to emerge from our education system with 21st century skills.
I have a vision for my future library and the role of the Teacher Librarian in my school, but how can I make this vision become a reality? First of all, everyone needs to understand the importance of Teacher Librarians in our schools.
As I begin to formulate my vision and consider the possible platforms and audiences, I am overwhelmed by the possibilities, but in an inspiring way. Googling ‘the importance of school libraries’ returned 50,100,000 searches in 0.50 seconds. This is promising. Evidence promoting the value of Teacher Librarians (see infographic from the American Library Association) and school libraries is needed to support any requests for increased library hours, stop a reduction of positions in schools, or even to just ask for further support from staff, administration and our school districts. Library budgets in schools are miniscule. Many TLs appeal to their Parent Advisory Councils (PAC), apply for grants, or hold Scholastic Books Fairs to raise money for new books and technology. If literacy is valued in our society, then why do those who nurture literacy of all forms among the children, have to fight so hard for value in the education system?
While exploring the best ways to fulfil my vision, I will review the following resources:
American Association of School Libraries – School Libraries Transform Learning
National Library of New Zealand – The purpose of the school library
School Libraries in Canada – Leading Learning: Standard of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada
I know that I will encounter other videos, websites and journals, but these are a place to begin. My vision may also shift, or expand, in some way. My initial proposal is to find a unique way to ‘spread the word’ about the value of Teacher Librarians in our schools. Video is visual and creates impact, so that will be my most likely choice, but there are many options available for creating videos. Which one will I choose? There may also be other components – collaboration and a culture of learning – that connect with my final vision. I have so many ideas, now I just need to narrow them down to a few key ideas and begin creating my final product.
As we begin creating our final products, let’s remember we are all creative and have the ability to “change the world” through our libraries. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that has.” ~Margaret Mead
American Association of School Libraries. “School Libraries Transform Learning”. Retrieved on November 14, 2015, from http://www.ala.org/aasl/advocacy/tools/transforming
DrMsChannel (April 4, 2014). Principals Know: School Librarians are the Heart of the School. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bihGT7LoBP0
Google. (February 1, 2013). Moonshot Thinking. Retrieved on November 14, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uaquGZKx_0
National Library of New Zealand: Services to Schools. “School library: purpose” Retrieved on November 14, 2015, from http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/supporting-learners/effective-practice/school-library-purpose
School Libraries in Canada. (2014). Leading Learning: Standard of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada retrieved on November 14, 2015, from http://clatoolbox.ca/casl/slic/llsop.htm