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Engaging and Empowering School Libraries membership: A Global Event

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

Sabrina Cox, school librarian, is one of the founding members of Engaging and Empowering School Libraries, joining in the first cohort in January 2022. In this series of blogs looking behind the membership, Sabrina shares the benefits of being a member.

Sabrina's Story

I’ve been part of Elizabeth’s Engaging and Empowering School Libraries membership for over a year now, and I’ve learnt a lot in such a short space of time. When I joined, I had just taken over as Library Manager and wanted to have a greater understanding of the role and how I could support my reluctant students in the library. What I got was so much more than just subject knowledge.

I had already found Elizabeth through her Twitter

Spaces chats, her fortnightly podcast on various library topics. When she mentioned she was starting up a professional training group for librarians, I decided this was the push I needed to begin my own personal development.

Being a Library Manager was really lonely. The team in the library used to be the manager and two assistants, one of them me. We'd all gone through the Covid years together and worked well as a team. However, In the space of a term, I had been promoted and the others had left to enjoy retirement. It was suddenly a very big space with only me to run it all. The school CPD offer never covered anything I was doing, or wanted to do, and I was aware that if I didn't find some training soon, I was going to fail in my new role.

A Global Event

Engaging and Empowering School Libraries sorted out my knowledge and personal development straight away. But it did more. It enabled me to meet other librarians, to interact with professionals from around the world. Elizabeth’s training is a global event, which means I can keep up with more than just local events. A great part of the webinar training is the opportunity to share ideas with other librarians. Completing the training live gives me a chance to meet other librarians, swap twitter handles, and support each other outside of the training sessions. And even if I miss the session, I can interact through the discussion boards.

Elizabeth’s membership is not just about learning new and relevant subjects; FOSIL, AI as a tool, writing an annual report, advocating for the library and myself. It’s about supporting each other in our journeys. Elizabeth has been there for me when I felt I had no-one who understood how I felt. The group’s catch ups meant there were other people to talk to and offer advice, to share their own stories of frustration and triumph, something that I would not have otherwise.

Beyond Isolation

Being a librarian can be isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Engaging and Empowering Librarians is virtual – there is no travel! I have met librarians from America, Dubai, Korea, and Australia. I have spoken to librarians from around the UK. This is something that makes Elizabeth’s training special. With the growth of social media, it’s a lot easier to stay in touch having made those contacts. And I know the next training webinar, I’ll see a face or two that I’ve met before.

My role, while still just me, no longer feels lonely.

Find out more!

If you want to find out more about my membership please check out the 'About membership' page or contact me. I am always happy to chat about school libraries.

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