The Innovative School Librarian : Thinking Outside the Box

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This Book Takes a strategic look at some of the issues currently of concern to school librarians. It is not a how to run a school library' guide. Instead it raises important questions about the functions of the school librarian and sets out to encourage the reader to think outside the box. It takes a strategic approach to the leadership of school libraries examining notions of professionalism, their effect on identity and models of library practice. The text aims to inspire and enable school librarians to think ...

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Overview

This Book Takes a strategic look at some of the issues currently of concern to school librarians. It is not a how to run a school library' guide. Instead it raises important questions about the functions of the school librarian and sets out to encourage the reader to think outside the box. It takes a strategic approach to the leadership of school libraries examining notions of professionalism, their effect on identity and models of library practice. The text aims to inspire and enable school librarians to think creatively about their work and the community in which they operate.

Written by leaders in the field, it addresses the practical issues through the use of vignettes, and appendices offer examples of sample documents. The book is divided into three main areas: Who is the Librarian?; Your Community: from perceptions to practice; and Moving Forward.

Key topics covered include:

the librarian's vision and values

how others see us

bridging the gap between different visions for the school library

identifying and understanding your community

making a positive response

keeping inspired and inspiring others

integrating the library

innovating

This is an essential, thought-provoking book for all school librarians, practitioners in schools library services, and students of librarianship. It has plenty to interest school leadership, headteachers, educational thinkers, public library managers and local government officers in the UK and internationally.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Written for school librarians, administrators, library students, and those in library governing positions, this book looks at the numerous challenges in providing the best support and services for students and presents many thoughts and creative ideas for addressing them. It begins with an important discourse on numerous aspects of professionalism, such as management, technical and social, and then on professional values and philosophies of school librarians. The discussion continues with how others, such as teachers, students, and parents, view our roles, and how these differing perceptions influence how we do our jobs. Innovative ways to improve communication and the value of knowing and understanding the communities we serve are stressed, as is the importance of knowing how our learners learn, the best ways of assessing their needs, and so on. Evaluating ourselves, staying positive and maintaining professionalism, inspiring others and being inspired, making needed and necessary changes all help us to continually renew ourselves in our positions. Vignettes of real experiences enhance the narrative. The book was originally published in Britain, and some expressions, terminology, and acronyms may not be clear at first, but they don't detract from the volume's valuable content.—Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781856046534
  • Publisher: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/2009
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

How to read this book xi

Acknowledgements xii

Part 1 Who is the librarian? 1

1 Professionalism and the school librarian 1

What are the discourses of professionalism? 4

Discourse of managerialism 4

Discourse of technical-rationalism 9

Discourse of social democracy 11

Where does this leave school librarianship in the 21st century? 15

What influences the school librarian's professional identity? 18

Our professional identity 22

2 How others see us 25

Who are the significant others? 27

Within the school community 27

Outside the school 34

What influences the perceptions of these significant stakeholders? 36

How do school librarians think the stakeholders see them? 41

What are the implications of the perceptions of the librarian? 44

Conclusion 45

3 Bridging the gap 47

Is there always a dichotomy? 47

In what circumstances might a dichotomy arise? 49

How can we resolve the dichotomy? 55

Part 2 Your community: from perceptions to practice 61

4 Identifying and understanding your community 61

How do we define our community? 62

What informs the ways we explore our community? 64

Ways of thinking about your learning community 66

What does learning look like in our own institutions? 69

What does learning look like for the individuals in our own communities? 73

5 Making a positive response 77

Getting into position 77

What is possible in the real world of school libraries? 78

Staying positive 80

Using evidence to support your case 83

Benchmarking between school libraries 83

Learning from the world 86

Making a difference 88

Tapping in to school and user priorities 89

How do we make line-management systems work for us? 92

How do we use other relationships to help us? 95

Learning from the students 97

What if our personal vision does not match the library reality? 99

How do we know if we are meeting the needs of our community? 100

How well are we doing? 101

Part 3 Moving forward 103

6 Inspiration 103

What is inspiration? 103

Where does inspiration fit into school librarianship? 103

At what levels can inspiration operate? 107

How do we keep ourselves inspired? 111

Inspiration from inside ourselves 113

Inspiration from inside the school 114

Inspiration from outside the school 115

What has inspired us? 119

Reality check 121

Inspiring others 122

7 Becoming integral to teaching and learning 127

But what does integration mean? 127

Becoming an integral part of the teaching team 128

Beyond information skills 131

Possible starting points 132

Sustaining integration into teaching and learning 134

Becoming integral to the structure of the school 135

Pathways to integration at school level 139

8 Innovation 143

Connect 144

Act 146

Evidence 149

Managing change 151

Process and principles of managing change 153

Using whole-school processes and the key change agents 154

References 157

Websites cited 166

Appendix 1 Levels of education 167

Appendix 2 School library self-evaluation questions 168

Appendix 3 Sample survey of teachers' perceptions of the role of the school librarian 170

Appendix 4 SWOT analysis 171

Appendix 5 Choosing priorities in development planning - sample grid 173

Appendix 6 An example of a completed self-evaluation 174

Appendix 7 Some possibilities for gaining inspiration in the UK 176

Appendix 8 Tools for managing change 180

Appendix 9 Managing change: process and principles 181

Index 187

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