In Part I of this series, I reflected on the journey that led Follett Learning to Future Ready Librarians® and why the time has never been better for librarians to transform their programs using Future Ready tools.
Now, let’s explore the most important question: Where do you start?
I used to advise librarians to pick a wedge of the Future Ready Librarians framework that aligned with their school’s or district’s strategic objectives. Today, aspiring Future Ready Librarians have a new Self-Assessment Tool designed to assess their strengths and areas of growth related to the Future Ready Librarians framework. Where are you on your Future Ready journey?
In a perfect world, your strengths will align to your district’s needs, which means it’s time to have a conversation with your district leadership. Sound scary? Follett and the Alliance for Excellent Education partnered with librarian leaders Mark Ray and Shannon McClintock Miller to develop a guide to help you start that conversation. Let’s Talk: A Conversation Starter for Future Ready Librarians is designed to remove any anxiety about sharing the ways in which you and your library can support schools in this new world.
The guide poses big reflection questions like:
- As you look at the main areas of focus for your school and district as they existed before the pandemic, what are some of the challenges you see as educators seek to implement these goals?
- What changes have occurred that create new opportunities for more collaboration?
- What are some of the outstanding challenges faced by classroom educators that didn’t exist before the pandemic?
- What will educators need to be successful in the future?
Ray explains that suggestions and answers to those questions will help district leaders better understand that they already have a leader in their buildings whose expertise has never been timelier. “As someone who has written, spoken, and testified to this for years, librarians are leadership solutions hiding in plain sight,” Ray said. “Their systems knowledge, technology expertise, responsibility for all students and educators, and service ethos are unique in schools. Both within and beyond the pandemic era, these are skills that few other educators can offer.”
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