“Nobody at my school understands the importance of school libraries. I feel like they think students can just Google everything now.”
It’s a situation being faced in school libraries around the world and many school libraries are feeling the challenge in advocating on the educational value and breadth of services they offer.
So what can a ‘regular’ school librarian do to make sure everyone understand the importance of school libraries?
Kay Oddone is an experienced educator and library professional who has spoken and written extensively on topics affecting school librarians.
In Kay’s recent article for the scis Connections journal, ‘The importance of school libraries in the Google Age’, she stresses that library staff should go in to battle and ensure the future of school libraries. She offers a number of resources that school librarians can use in their advocacy.
Another excellent article which features “conversation starters” that library staff can draw on is “Ten Things Your Administrator Needs to Know as the School Year Begins”.
We have also been conducting School Library Surveys in the United Kingdom and Australia and New Zealand for a number of years. The results are an excellent benchmarking tool that school libraries can use. You can download the 2015 Australian and New Zealand School Library Survey and the 2015 United Kingdom School Library Survey for free from the Softlink website.
Now that you’re armed with knowledge that your non-library counterparts can understand, you need to spread the word.
Share these resources with your non-library counterparts. Not just the Principal, or Head Teacher, share it with teachers and support staff, your school’s Parents Association.
The more the ENTIRE community understands the importance of school libraries and school librarians, the more focus there will be on ensuring this important service and role is maintained.
Do you have any tips you would like to share with other school library staff about how you were able to change the attitude of the decision makers at your school? Send us an email at email@example.com and we will work towards putting together some helpful resources for the whole community to benefit from!