What should an administrator expect?

How does a 21st century school library program provide access to a wide range of materials and technologies, encourage literacy and a love of reading, develop 21st century skills, support the learning of all students, and inspire curiosity and creativity? How should today’s library program change to support today’s world of information, technology and digital natives?

  • A 13 Point Library Media Program Checklist for School Principals by Doug Johnson (2009)
  • Reframing the Library Media Specialist as a Learning Specialist by Allison Zmuda and Violet H. Harada (School Library Activities Monthly, April 2008)
  • School Libraries Renewed by Ann M. Martin (District Administration, October 2008)
  • One Administrator's View: Keys to Successful Library / Technology Programs in Wisconsin Schools by Patrick Kennedy and ann Buehl, Parkview School District, Orfordville, WI
  • Hardy, Lawrence.  The Future of Libraries. American School Board Journal, January 2010, pp. 22-26 (Article Available in Badgerlink).
  • Program Evaluation Tool:  This tool emphasizes attributes that support student learning and the mission of the school. It can be used by librarians, principals and the education community to review the school’s library program. One way to do this would be to gather evidence over a period of time as suggested below each item, and then review it as a team to determine strengths and areas for growth. It might also be used by the librarian as a tool to reflect and plan for the future. Conducting a program evaluation will help the program continue to move forward.

What they say….

The librarians play an important part in student success by supporting the curriculum, bridging the gaps in access to and familiarity with resources, and working collaboratively with teachers to support and improve their instruction. I support our school library program because it is central to student achievement. –  Bruce Dahmen, Principal, James Madison Memorial High School, Madison

Vision: Hiring a Professional

 The school library has changed from a store of resources to a learning commons where students and teachers investigate, collaborate, and seek and use information to explore ideas and solve problems. As information grows exponentially and technology continues to change the way society learns and communicates, information fluency is vital to success, and the school library information specialist is more vital than ever before.

A 21st century library information specialist at the center of teaching and learning: 

  • creates a welcoming active environment that supports learning
  • is highly skilled with web and information technologies
  • teaches inquiry, technology, and information organization skills to students and teachers
  • incites curiosity, motivates investigations and directs passions
  • supports development of multiple literacies and love of reading
  • facilitates student independent and collaborative pursuit of knowledge
  • organizes information and resources to support student needs and interests
  • collaborates with teachers to connect learning outcomes and authentic tasks to meet standards
  • provides leadership in developing curriculum and practices to support learning
  • manages staff, budgets, equipment, collections, and facilities.

Is Your School Librarian 'Highly Qualified'? by Allison Kaplan (Phi Delta Kappan, December 2007: 300-303). (Article available in Badgerlink)

Job description: This sample outlines of the roles and responsibilities of the school library information specialist.