Thing 26: Connecting with Stakeholders

I am going to start this off with a bit of a rant. Some people might consider me “difficult” because I fight for my library program. My feeling on this is that it is part of my job to fight for my library program and if this makes me difficult, then so be it because I’m not going to stop. I hate when administrators tell me how important the library is to a school but then they do not back it up with funding or even a visit to see how things are going. But just as important — what about the librarian?!!

Now that I got that off my chest, I realize that when talking with my administrator I need to focus on the positives that are happening in the library and stop complaining. By doing this, maybe my administrator would be more interested in visiting the library and me.

Moving on — thankfully, I am a little behind in my posts because a recent workshop, Tag — You’re It, at the SSL Annual Conference in Tarrytown last week addressed many parts of this topic and got me thinking about branding and getting my community to feel an emotional attachment to the library and what it adds to the lives of the students. Keynote speakers also noted that we need to get away from “library statistics” and move toward how our program is impacting students. This has given me a lot to ponder. During the workshop while working in small groups, we came up with the following slogans:

  • exploring the universe together
  • the “buc” starts here (our mascot is the buccaneer)
  • the book is only the beginning
  • digging deeper together
  • questioning the world together or finding the answers together
  • opening the door to new knowledge
  • your future starts @ your library
  • far more than you expect
  • building strong students or building student with inquiring minds

I like the idea of the slogan eliciting collaboration or working together since that is often what I try to do with my students. I don’t think any of these are just right but I will keep working until it is what I want.

Right now I market my library primarily through the school newsletter and my website. I often lose sight of marketing to my teachers and I really like the idea of a short weekly tip for the teachers and plan to implement it in the fall. As far as the students go, I think I have done a good job of promoting the resources and arranging materials in a way that it is easy for students to locate them. My circulation is down this year but I think that is a product of the schedule and classes starting earlier than they have in the past. I will add interactive displays in the fall and more student work on the walls to help students feel like the library belongs to them and that they are the most important part.

After looking at several end of the year reports, I hope to create one that includes data pertaining to student’s STAR test scores and how often they checked out a book. I also want to include information on the number of projects that were collaborated on with teachers and the numbers of students that completed a research project with me in the library. I will include information on the standards that were taught and examples of student work.

But before I do anything too radical, I need to start creating a positive relationship with my administrator.

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