Updated: Sep 4, 2022
Over the summer my business goes quiet. Not surprising really as I work with schools and school libraries. It gives me time to reassess what I do and whether it's of value or not and how I am going to move forward. I love what I do but at this time of year, I often have thoughts about giving up... However, this year whilst I was feeling undecided about my way forward, I was contacted by Jen, a school librarian from North Lanarkshire in Scotland, telling me that 23 school librarians were about to lose their jobs and asked if I could help by sharing their petition. It certainly made me pull my socks up, not only did I share their petition but I wrote a blog about it too. I realised that I did have a purpose after all. Even if what I do has very little impact it is better than doing nothing. Whilst I still have a voice and a passion, I have to do all I can to stop school libraries from closing. A big goal but one with extreme importance!
I have been an infopreneur/business owner for 3 years now after leaving my job as Head of Schools' Library Service in Guernsey in August 2019. As a librarian working with schools for many years I felt a calling to be part of the training world offering my expertise and support to school librarians, who in my opinion, do a challenging and often lonely job. Many school librarians feel frustrated at the lack of understanding of their role and I wanted to offer training that would inspire and help them feel empowered even if things were hard.
My school librarian membership launched in January 2022 called Engaging and Empowering School libraries where I help school librarians succeed by seeing the best in themselves through engagement with teachers and students whilst empowering them to move forward with the goals of their school in mind. This membership has gone from strength to strength and I am looking forward to welcoming new members in September.
However, working with school librarians is not enough if teachers don't understand what they do.
What do teachers need?
I spend much of my time advocating for school libraries through writing articles and blogs and presenting at conferences but began to realise that more was needed. Why do we not hear more teachers' voices about the need for school libraries? Is it a lack of knowledge about what school librarians and libraries can do for them and their students? As they say, you don't know what you don't know until someone tells you.
The biggest barrier to schools not using their school libraries effectively seems to be that teachers do not understand their core purpose. If they believe that the school library is only there to issue and return books and has nothing to do with the curriculum and the educational process then I understand why teachers would not want to waste their precious time with it. However, I know that the school library has so much more to offer. It is time to help them find out more and the best way I know is through training.
It was time to plan my new membership for teachers...
Cost-effective Professional Development (PD) for teachers and schools
My new membership for teachers launched on the 1st September 2022 to provide training and support for those who want to understand how to engage with their school library across the curriculum. I believe that in order to engage fully, teachers need to understand that it has a role to play in the educational process of their school and therefore it has a real value to themselves and their students.
I plan to help teachers understand not only its core purpose but also enable them to work with colleagues to find a way forward for their individual schools.
School libraries need strong advocates beyond the voice of the school librarian and in helping teachers to understand more I hope to see more teacher voices coming through. Collaboration is key and I don't want to see any more school libraries close because of a lack of understanding of their impact.
Meet me in the video below...
How much does it actually cost?
Providing PD for schools can be very tricky as there is no money and time is tight. Therefore I am therefore the new membership for teachers will only be £95 per year and as a special offer school membership will be 3 for the price of 2. 2 teachers and which also includes one FREE school librarian membership at a cost of only £190 for the year. All the training sessions will be recorded so if members can't attend there will be an option to catch up and join in any ongoing discussions through the forum.
And there is FREE stuff too...
I know budgets are tight and it is important for me that you still have the opportunity to learn about why school libraries are important and what they can do. Here is everything I offer freely... enjoy!
Podcast recordings of Twitter Spaces discussion, for those who can't join in live.
Resources that I have curated for school libraries are on my website and found here.
Engaging and Empowering School Libraries Facebook Group where we chat about important issues relating to school libraries.
If any of this interests you but you are still not sure if it is for you please don't hesitate to contact me... I am happy to chat about your needs and give advice on a way forward before you have to pay anything!
Finally here is a copy of the poster above, please feel free to share it with anyone you think might be interested. Thank you!
School Library Membership Promotional Flyer (2)
Download PDF • 1.33MB