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Saving school libraries, one library at a time

Advocating for your library starts with you, now!

Donna Watt

on 28 July 2011

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Transcript of Saving school libraries, one library at a time

What is your library for? Read Hugh McGuire's
article, and consider
what your library is for, rather
than what it does.
http://bit.ly/nb2OVz Does your description of what your library
is for make explicit links to:
The curriculum
Your school's vision
Your school's values
Key competencies
Your school's goals
We will come back to this point, and explore it further. Did you use the language
of libraries or the language
of the curriculum to
describe what your library
is for? Did your answer relate to books and literacy? Question: Why is branding so important
for libraries? Answer: Because if and when
trouble strikes, it is your community's
perception of what your library is for,
and their understanding of the value
that you add, that will save you. Consider what your brand is, in a professional sense.
And what is your library brand? What is John Key's
brand? Take a moment to
select five words that
describe your professional
brand. Now take a moment to describe the current
brand of your library. Will this brand take you
and your library into the 21st century? Does it
align with your school's vision, values, key
competencies, and goals? Would your school community
describe your library's brand, and
your professional brand, in the same
Challenge - why don't you ask them? Becoming “Librarian 2.0” : the skills, knowledge, and attributes required by library and information science professionals in a Web 2.0 world.http://eprints.qut.edu.au/39553/1/39553.pdf
(The previous slide, a Wordle, was created using the
text of this article.) Knowing what your library
is for, and what skills you need in
order to provide services which
meet the identified needs of
your school community, is the first
step in establishing your brand. You then need to develop
a strategy for implementing
your brand and communicating
it to your community. But the communication is
the hard part... Three key tools we should be using better:
Language - learn to speak 'curriculum' and pedagogy - and speak it fluently with teachers
If you have qualifications, especially professional registration, flaunt them. Use them to be seen as a professional.
Evidence-based practice. We work in an educational context which is underpinned by assessment, and evidence-based teaching. Using it will make you a better practitioner and garner respect. Find your best teacher advocate -
this person will help to 'sell' your brand
to your other teaching colleagues.
CHOOSE CAREFULLY! Teacher life cycle - a well-researched truth - your best collaborative partner will be:
Around six years into professional practice
Have day-to-day teaching 'down'
Behaviour management a breeze - kids just follow
Be looking for next challenge
Not in cruise mode, waiting for retirement!
Not so new and eager that she will take anything on (only to find it too much) Start by shouting to the world and his
dog about who you are and what you are
capable of... Gather statistics
Use evidence-based practice
Do polls and surveys
Anecdotal comments from kids and teachers is great!
Report on them - to departments, BOT, Management team, in school newsletters and magazines, on your own school website or blog The branding has begun! It begins with you
but the next level is to plan, strategically, to
embed the school library and the library team
in the school curriculum. That will take three
key things:
A strategic plan
A carefully chosen team to help you roll it out
Great communication and shared understanding...
Full transcript