Teach more. Librarian less.
To sum up my experience at the 2013 #SLJSummit, I think that about says it all. Teach more. Librarian less.
I think those of us in libraries are turning the tide as to what people think of when they think of a librarian. Unfortunately, our work is not done. K-12 school libraries have a distinct place in the library world at large, we are A PART of a school. We are not just a place for students or patrons to come and get books or use library resources. Instead, we should be an integral part of the teaching, and more importantly, the learning that takes place every day at our campuses.
Being an expert on books, advising reader’s on great books, and taking care of books is just a small part of what we as Teacher Librarians do. We need to be leading the way in technology integration. We need to be co-teaching with teachers. We need students to be learning, discovering, creating, and evaluating with us every day. We are Teachers.
We should be teaming with, supporting, and offering resources in many forms to our teacher partners. We can be their ally and the best resource on our campuses. We all share the same students, and there are more of them than there are of us. Teachers and Librarians need to be working together at every turn to support and serve our students.
Collaboration is a key component to making the library an extension of the classroom. We can’t limit our scope to collaborating with teachers alone. We need to be collaborating with administrators in our building, other teacher librarians in our district, the school board and other district leadership, as well as district curriculum specialists. We need to be a part of the conversation, planning, and implementation of the strategic vision and goals of our district.
When collaborating and planning at any level, we need to keep in mind the changing nature of literacy. Being literate in this time is challenging. There are so many different forms of literacy that are emerging and that our students need to be proficient in order to be successful in education and life. Teacher Librarians can play a key role in helping students achieve new levels of literacy.
The chopportunites (challenges+opportunities) that Teacher Librarians face are many, however we are in a unique place in our schools to be the evokers of student interest. When students are genuinely interested in something, they are more engaged in their learning. We need to nurture those curiosities and foster that learning.
This conference was an amazing learning experience for me that refueled me and my passions for learning, librarianship, and teaching. I made many connections with member of my #PLN (Personal Learning Network) that have inspired me! I met Matthew Winner, the Busy Librarian who has challenged me to learn about #gamification and #cardboardchallenge. I also got to see Shannon Miller again, who is one of the most influential librarians in our profession right now. I was able to meet and talk to Deven Black, who just won the Bammy for his work as a new librarian trying to make a difference in New York. I got to talk books with John Schu. I met our current ALA President Barbara Stripling who is as inspiring as she is passionate about libraries. I connected with Carolyn Foote who I so admire because she is also from Texas and a great librarian. These encounters keep me excited and propel to keep moving forward to be an educator of change.
As I go about this school year, I will teach more and librarian less. I will remember why I became a teacher every day. I will focus on each and every student by name and need. I will embrace my passions!
You can follow me on Twitter @lambertn
Links to Articles of #SLJSummit Presentations