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An introduction to school librarianship
An introduction to school librarianship

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1 Raising your library’s profile

Raising your library’s profile is something that brings numerous benefits. In Session 4, you looked at how everything from posters and displays to social media and author events have a role to play in encouraging students to read. Promoting the library is not only beneficial to your students though; it is beneficial for you as a librarian as it helps to give you the recognition you deserve by enlightening parents and the wider school community about the work you do. It also serves as a reminder that your library is not just a place that houses books, but rather a facility fully integrated into the teaching and learning process. This can help you to transform the image of a librarian to one of dynamism and digital expertise. It’s essential, therefore, that you actively find practical ways to lend your library a bold voice, which may at times involve questioning the status quo.

In Session 1, you looked at how a library development plan can help you to set out your vision for the library that aligns with your school’s mission statement. To expand on this, you could, in collaboration with your manager, devise a strategy to raise the profile of your library and generate awareness of the benefits it offers to the entire school community. For example, creating a strong library brand, contributing to staff training days, and hosting library events will all ensure you raise the profile of your library. Whatever you do, being explicit about your achievements and your integral role in the school will help your library fulfil its potential. It will also help you achieve the goals you’ve set out in your library development plan, for example embedding literacy in your school or increasing usage of digital resources to support blended learning.

To think further about this theme, watch the video below where Sarah explores the benefits of championing your library. After this, consider how you currently promote your library and the work you do, and then complete Activity 1. Then, in the next section, you will discuss how developing effective channels of communication can help increase the impact of your library advocacy.

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Video 1
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Activity 1

Timing: Allow approximately 15 minutes

In the box below provide three examples of ways you will advocate for your library and the wider profession. Provide a brief explanation of the benefits each brings.

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Discussion

There are no right or wrong answers to this task, but below are some suggestions which you might have considered:

  • Maintain a presence at parents’ evenings – maintaining a presence at parents’ evening allows you to engage with parents in person and showcase the range of benefits your library can offer their children.

  • Offer to support and work with other librarians in your local area – by supporting and working with other librarians in your area, you can exchange ideas, develop your personal and professional skills, and establish beneficial working-relationships with your peers. Even if you are relatively new to the profession, what you have learnt can be of benefit to others. As you develop as a librarian and gain more knowledge, your role can even develop into that of mentor.

  • Contribute to school newsletters – school newsletters are an opportunity for you to provide updates to staff, students, and parents, and be explicit about the library’s key importance in the educational process.