Think about the vision of your school library program. We all hope our libraries are welcoming, comfortable, and accessible - but how about rigorous and challenging? Is your library the academic center of the school? Are you familiar with the standards across the curriculum and ready to collaborate with teachers at the drop of a hat? We hope you answered “yes” to all of these questions!
If we all slow down and focus on how to provide leadership in our school libraries, we position ourselves and our libraries to be more about collaboration and instruction than sending out monthly overdue notices and performing collection inventory. The next time you start a new project, consider the different ways it will contribute to the big picture and your role as an instructional leader. Does this project get you and your library program closer to those goals?
To begin creating your own vision, do a quick SWOT analysis of your school library program. Do an honest assessment of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Take your analysis and read articles like Susan Ballard’s “Developing the Vision” Knowledge Quest, 38 (3) 76-77 to prepare a long range strategic plan. Think about your space, your instructional practices, how you collaborate with the faculty, and your plans for advocacy.
Once you have a SWOT analysis, plan to to write a vision statement for your school library program. It’s best to not work on a task like this alone. See if you can find some other stakeholders to help you out in this process. Together you will project into the future. What does your dream library look like five years from now? Why is your school better off with a library than without one? How will you impact student learning in the future? Include five bullets in the present tense. Tweet us your results! @librarianslead