5. Make, make, and make.
Whether you have a strong STEM focus or simply want to promote more creativity among students, consider adding makerspaces to your library. Librarians everywhere have been driving the makerspace movement, bringing technology such as 3D printing and robotics into the library for students to use. Makerspaces can also be low tech, with Legos and everyday materials used for creation. Students can then access content to better understand concepts.
6. Form community partnerships.
Do you have a strong relationship with your community library or other local organizations that could help support your agenda? Librarians can help. Have your librarian facilitate a conversation with the local community library so its content and programming is an extension of yours. Work with partners to create programs to highlight specific objectives important to you, including early literacy, STEM, and parent involvement.
7. Advocate for student privacy.
Again, as digital ninjas, librarians have been thinking about privacy forever. Put them in charge of your student privacy initiatives, ensuring staff has the professional development they need and remain compliant. Ensure vendors and partners comply, with librarians pushing that compliance.
8. Push your strategic vision.
Librarians are one of the few members of your staff who interact with every teacher and every student on a daily basis. Consider them to be your mouthpiece, helping communicate and promote your objectives through everything they do.
9. Provide equitable digital access.
Have your librarians ensure digital access is equitable to all students. Librarians can keep track of your digital devices, provide access points in the library, and form community partnerships to also ensure students have access at home.
10. Promote literacy.
Most important of all, no other member of your staff has the power to promote grade-level reading proficiency as your school librarian. Through the promotion of independent reading, with a focus of putting the right book in the hands of every student, to strong knowledge of intervention strategies and unique approaches to help striving readers, librarians live and breathe literacy. Use them to make sure every student learns to read effectively so they may read to learn effectively.
Truly, this list goes on and on. At Follett, we have been working with the U.S. Department of Education to ensure librarians are front and center when it comes to developing the next generation of Future Ready Schools. Our Future Ready Librarians initiative is now being implemented and discussed by more than 20,000 librarians across the country.
If you feel your school or district can benefit, spark up a conversation with your librarians about the framework and have them come up with a plan around what they could be doing differently and more effectively to support your strategic vision. In most cases, you’ll find they are up for the challenge and will appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate their value to the district. As your utility player, librarians will help you accomplish your goals and improve the lives of your students.
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