As I prepare for my first year as a librarian to begin I have ideas and plans swirling through my mind almost constantly. I felt that I needed to create some concrete goals for myself to focus my attention on. I remembered reading a post on the Blue Skunk Blog on this subject. Using his advice I have decided on a few goals for myself.
1. Build relationships with students, staff, and parents to create a feeling of shared ownership in the library.
2. Build foundation for reading promotion programs and information literacy instruction with teachers.
3. Communicate progress with students, staff, administration and parents at least monthly.
I have started working on meeting my first goal by planning a grand reopening of the library. I have completely cleaned and rearranged the library, new carpet has been installed and I am purchasing some new furniture to change the atmosphere. I want it to be obvious that things are different and I want students to feel welcome and interested in what this change means for them. I have reached out to teachers over the summer by creating a group in Diigo (as mentioned in a previous post) and I have received positive feedback. One of our school goals was to build classroom libraries to supplement our Silent Sustained Reading program. I compiled some guidelines and suggestions for the teachers and sent an email with links to resources to assist them. I received many thank yous. I hope to continue this type of support. I want them to know that I am here to help them. I plan to create a parent resource center in a recently cleaned out closet. The other two middle school librarians in my district have decided to meet monthly to plan and share ideas.
I have considered building a library committee, but after speaking with several colleagues in my district I decided it against it. I know that many would frown upon this decision, but I have seen the politics of committees with my school and I feel that it would not be a positive choice for me.
For my second goal I am taking the library program from ZERO collaboration and reading programs to integrating the library into many aspects of our curriculum. Thankfully we have a SSR program in place that I can build on. I started a reading program this summer for students and staff. I allowed selected students to check out books for the summer. I may extend this to everyone if it turns out well. I am going to have a book club during lunch times for each grade and have book talks and trailers on our morning news program. I asked for and received time to speak with the new teachers during the induction program. I am speaking with them next week and will blog about it later.
It is important that I keep all stakeholders informed of my progress. I plan to provide the school administration with monthly reports. I would also like to create an annual report similar to Buffy Hamilton's. If we don't tell others about what is going on in the library we can not be surprised when administrators and teachers do not advocate for us.