Image by Carol VanHook via Flickr
Here it is, December 9th, and my last day of the Fall 2011 semester. Unreal! It is apropos then, that our last discussion for my Information Technology in Educational Organizations class is on the topic of leadership, as if our professor is sending us off into the future but reminding us that we’re not always going to be library students. We are soon-to-be librarians, and that job description (officially and often, unofficially) extends way beyond the physical act of running the library. We are being cultivated as a crop of new community leaders – whether that community be a neighborhood, a government organization, a school or a company.
One important aspect of leadership is demonstrating value. Not just the value of you, as a member of a staff or faculty, or even just of your library as a space. (Though that is part of it.) We’re going to need to demonstrate the value of our library program to the community and possibly sometimes the value of libraries in the world. Sheesh! No pressure.
Here is a :30 Animoto promo as an example of the types of ideas school librarians need to reinforce in the educator/ administrator and student communities they serve. The statements here are true, but a bit vague. I hope this serves as a starting point for people to give them ideas of more detailed advocacy outreach they can do:
Other than video production, there is some every day work we can do to gather evidence to back up our assertions on the value of libraries/ librarians/ programs. Sometimes you may want to gather specific research or test results to show improvement on a specific challenge your community is having, but these measurements are good to have all of the time, as a way of comparing one semester or year over past years to show long-term accomplishments: Continue reading