The other day, I was looking through a few new teacher resources on the net and noticed the following: “9 New Teacher Survival Tips for June” by Kari Heistad. She provides a great overview of some of the issues that teachers face in the current climate. One of the themes that runs through her book is the importance of libraries. This is a timely piece as libraries are under attack from decreasing funding and lack of funding in many states. At one time, libraries were considered the gold standard for community learning.
Now, with fewer libraries, more people have access to educational technology and Internet access has expanded beyond school libraries. With all of this, it is important that teachers are equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate these new resources. It is also vital that they are knowledgeable about their local state laws pertaining to library accessibility and their responsibilities to their community. This is one of the 9 new teacher survival tips that she offers in this e-book.
According to the US Department of Education, school libraries have declined by 10% over the last three years. The reasons that schools are closing libraries range from budget cuts to student growth. One thing is clear though. As funding for public schools decreases, the need for school librarians, especially those who work in libraries, continues to increase. In an age of shrinking budgets and increasing numbers of students, it is essential that school librarians have resources to meet the needs of their students.
Schools around the country are placing increasing importance on the success of their students in the classroom. One way that they are doing this is by purchasing video and photography equipment. As budgets for these items continue to decrease, school librarians are left with fewer resources to provide needed assistance for their students. One solution to this problem is to purchase a photo booth and use it as a fun activity at the library.
Library professionals are beginning to see the benefits of using these types of booths. While students still spend time learning in the library, librarians are able to capture moments that are meant to be permanent. They can record games, projects, and school activities, or they can even take photos during special events. The result? Students and teachers will be able to share in the moment, relive the magic, and know that they will always have that available to them. It is an affordable way for district leaders to capture the excitement that their students feel about coming to school every day.
Another resource that school libraries are beginning to implement is an initiative called “become future ready.” This program connects libraries to families and the community to help inspire them to become more aware of their environment. By participating in this initiative, librarians are hoping to create a new culture within the district and gain a greater understanding of what the community hopes to achieve as they become future prepared.
In addition to becoming future ready, library employees can implement the digital transformation initiative by creating an online presence that brings in more traffic and engages customers in meaningful ways. Libraries must demonstrate that they are changing and are working hard to stay up to date with the times. They can do this through a variety of ways, such as publishing eBooks, creating a blog, and implementing a social media campaign. They can also take a pledge to support the cause through various ways, such as sponsoring a fundraiser, hosting a get-together, or organizing a silent auction.
Libraries are an important part of our communities. They serve as the heart of the educational experience for countless numbers of children, countless adults, and countless homeschoolers. There is no need for any teacher or administrator to accept the status quo. Teachers can learn from these leadership summit reports and implement the changes necessary to ensure a positive future for themselves and their students. These seminars are designed for every school district, including district leaders, superintendents, principals, teachers’ assistants, and librarians.