I strongly believe that these three big ideas can help all school librarians improve their teaching practice and in doing so, help improve the lives of the learners and teachers who visit their libraries to learn, read, dream, inquire, collaborate and create. I hope that if you missed the conference that this reflection post can help bring you up to speed. If you were able to attend the conference, I'd love to hear about your major take-aways.
Branding has come up recently in education, largely due to the April publication of a book written by Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin called BrandED: Tell Your Story, Build Relationships, and Empower Learning. I have long been fascinated by brands and branding, perhaps driven by the time I spent working as a librarian at an advertising agency and later at a big pharmaceutical and consumer goods company. I love the idea of bringing branding into schools and building a professional brand. And, I find it makes such logical sense as the director of a library program because our goals so closely align with the purpose of branding: We need to share our library story, communicate our messaging, and build relationships.
But I get concerned when I hear that someone wants to be a librarian because they are tired of teaching, because they want a desk job, because it's less work. Because, well, it isn't. Every level is different -- I speak with the voice of a middle school librarian. And I really want you to join this magical field, but I want you to do it for the right reasons.
As I sat at dinner, listening to their conversation about teaching and learning, I realized that unless you have had the privilege of working in a school over the past decade you may not understand what school librarians actually do. Librarians are not a braggy bunch; so I feel inclined to set the record straight on their behalf. You probably think they spend their entire day shelving and checking out books, while shushing students. It's time to set aside these stereotypes and give librarians their long overdue kudos.
There are so many ways to connect with professional colleagues, but here are 5 places to start. And if all of these are new to you, choose one and test the waters.
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