Information Needs, Library Management, Professional, Uncategorized

Heart … That’s What You Are and That’s What You Give

No one likes to say it out loud, but the library needs to be the heart of the school.  Not the center  mind you – and there is a difference.  The center can be an I’m in your face, more important then you, look at me… the heart gives out life blood to the body or whole.  And what schools tend to need is information, the blood of the library (yeah you knew that was coming didn’t you).

Your knowledge and experience should reach out to all ends of the school; students, teachers, staff and administration.  People should feel comfortable coming to you for any information problem they may have – professional or personal.  Don’t we teach students skills that can help them answer life’s question; skills that can help them inside the classroom as well as out.  Well why are teachers and staff any different.  They make up your population as much as the students.  Make yourself available to attend department meetings – in the beginning just as an introduction to the library and soon they will be asking you to come and present on a regular basis.

In the past I also used my library budget as bribary.  Hey I’m not above it – I would tell different departments that if they wanted to give me a list of titles they need for projects or otherwise, I would be more than happy to order them and have them available in the collection.  And we all know how money talks.  It doesn’t have to be a majority of your budget, even if you order 5-10 books you’d be amazed at how far that good will can go.

Pop by a recepetive teacher’s room and offer some good suggestions as to fiction reading for the subjects she is teaching.  All of a sudden teachers will be asking for titles.  Everyone wants what others get.

And before you know it you will become the heart of the school.

Author: SL

SL has been a elementary/middle school librarian for over 13 year having received my MLS from SUNY Albany, in Albany, New York. SL has worked in a variety of settings from rural to urban, with different populations. She is currently the librarian at RCS Middle School. She lives near Albany, New York with her husband and three children.

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