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The Critical Role of Strategic Planning for School Librarians

A poster for Engaging and Empowering School Libraries with a picture of Elizabeth talking to her colleagues
Engaging and Empowering School Libraries

Why Do School Librarians Need To Plan?

As school librarians, your roles are pivotal in fostering a love for reading, supporting curriculum goals, and creating an educational learning and safe space for your students. But you can't do this in a bubble, in order for school libraries to truly thrive and make a lasting impact, it’s essential to have a plan that gives you a clear way forward and an ability to highlight your library's strengths and purpose beyond being something nice to have. A strategic and development plan that aligns with your school's aims and objectives will give you clarity and focus.

It is time to stop sitting on the sidelines, burst out of that bubble, and start helping your teachers and Senior Leadership Team understand how your library can:-

  • Support the educational journey of your students,

  • Support teaching and learning

  • Support the school's vision, aims and objectives

The Importance of Strategic and Development Planning

  1. Alignment with School Goals: Every school has unique aims and objectives, whether it’s improving literacy rates, integrating technology, or promoting critical thinking. A strategic plan ensures your library’s initiatives directly support these goals, making your library an integral part of the school’s mission.

  2. Focused Progress and Improvement: Without a clear plan, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks and miss growth opportunities. A strategic plan provides a roadmap for continuous improvement, helping you prioritise projects that have the most significant impact.

  3. Resource Management: Libraries often operate with limited resources. A development plan helps you allocate resources effectively, ensuring that your budget, time, and staff are used in the most efficient way possible.

  4. Professional Growth: Crafting and following a strategic plan not only benefits your library but also enhances your professional skills. It involves learning new management techniques, staying updated with educational trends, and becoming more adept at advocating for your library.

  5. Community Engagement: A well-thought-out plan includes strategies for engaging students, teachers, and parents. This fosters a community that values and supports the library, leading to increased usage and collaboration.

How Can I Help?

Last year Lori Korodja, a teacher librarian from Australia created a training session called Making the Invisible Visible: Strategic Planning is Your Supperpower! It made me realise that school librarians not only need to know that this is important, but they also need help in getting started.

I run a training membership called Engaging and Empowering School Libraries which brings like-minded school librarians together to help and support them on their learning journey. With over 20 years in school libraries, I understand the challenges and opportunities that come with running a school library and have seen the benefits of crafting a great strategic plan. My school membership program offers a comprehensive support system to help you succeed:

  • Six Training Sessions a Year: Gain insights and stay ahead with the latest trends in library management, teaching through inquiry and education.

  • Access to My Full Archives: Explore a wealth of resources, from past webinars to exclusive resources, to inspire and inform your planning.

  • Online Forum for Ongoing Support: Connect with a community of like-minded librarians. Share experiences, seek advice, and collaborate on projects.

  • Introduction Assessment: Understand your starting point with a detailed assessment of your current library setup and practices.

  • Strategic and Development Plan Assistance: Receive two personalised online sessions:

    • Strategic planning for school librarians

    • Development planning for school librarians

Success Stories - Don’t just take my word for it—hear from your peers:

  • “Elizabeth, as always, I learn so much from your sessions! I can't thank you enough for sharing your knowledge!” – Althea Briers, Librarian

  • “As ever, there were valuable takeaways in terms of practical applications in our own school. Elizabeth's sessions are always great to enable stopping and thinking! One of the most valuable parts of the session was the breakout slot as it is always great to hear the experiences of colleagues in other schools.” – Jill Fention, School Librarian

  • “As always, these sessions are warm and welcoming and a space where librarians can feel safe to share and learn from others no matter their experience and skill level. I went into the training thinking that I had some ideas about teaching note-taking, but little confidence. I left ready to discuss the topic with subject teachers and to try out what I had learned. This is always the best outcome for any PD training.” – Heather Wright, School Librarian

Strategic Planning for School Librarians: Join me today

Are you ready to take your school library to the next level? Join Engaging and Empowering School Libraries and become part of our community of practice, a supportive network dedicated to excellence in school libraries. Together, we can create libraries that are integrated into the school curriculum, focus on your school's educational process and through your strategic and development plans not only meet but exceed your school’s objectives.

Join Now and empower your library to become a cornerstone of your school community.

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