The teacher librarian must be a strong leader in the learning community. This leadership should be reflecting in all aspects of the school library media program.

person leadingLeadership involves accountability, administration, and advocacy.

Accountability. Whether selecting websites for a science pathfinder or purchasing new equipment, the teacher librarian should always be thinking about accountability. What's the impact of this activity? Is it a good use of time and money? What evidence can be collected regarding the success of this approach or activity?

Administration. The teacher librarian manages all aspects of the library media program including collection development, facilities management, budgeting, staffing, and instruction. Every aspect of administration involves decision making and action. Whether fighting for technology funding or rallying teachers around a reading initiative, the library media specialist must be a leader.

Advocacy. The school library program must reflect the perspectives and philosophies today's information-rich society. The teacher librarian must be an advocate for intellectual freedom, free inquiry, and literacy. These stands should be reflected in the priorities of the program and how money, time, and resources are allocated.

eye means readRead Chapters 1, 2, & 7- Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning.

eye means readRead This Man Wants to Change Your Job by M. Eisenberg & D.H. Miller. School Library Journal, 2002; 48(9), 46. (Access requires login)

The article provides guidelines for a school librarian to become a core player in school.

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Check Your Understanding

info powerInformation Power - The library media specialist who uses the themes of collaboration, leadership, and technology in applying the principles of Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning will help students and others become full and productive members of the learning community - the ultimate goal of the school library media program. (p. xiv)

Explore the information found at the following websites:

Teacher Librarians . . . Supporting Student Learning
from Central iSchool, Saskatchewan, CA.

Explore the ideas and concepts presented at (1) Leadership from the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL) and (2) Leadership Characteristics that Facilitate School Change by S. Mendez-Morse from the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) and (2)

Which of the following teacher librarians are demonstrating leadership? Which people need to be more proactive? What suggestions would you provide? How are the three central ideas (collaboration, leadership, technology) of the library media program reflected (or not)?

Miss C. is meeting with members of the social studies curriculum committee. The group is discussing ways that electronic databases can support the new social studies curriculum.

Ms. R. has invited everyone to a reading week celebration in the library. He hopes people come this year, it was pretty quiet last year.

Mrs. J. is sitting at a table with three other teachers discussing a collaborative partnership focusing on literature circles based on historical fiction books. The spreadsheet they are developing on shows a matrix of standards, units, topics, potential books, and other resources.

Mr. K. is shelving the books that came in from the last class period. A tidy center is a happy center is her philosophy.

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Make It Real

teachers at computerDo you view yourself as a leader? Why or why not?

What strengths and weaknesses do you have in the area of leadership? How do you plan to address these weaknesses?

Describe a situation where you took a leadership role. What did you find difficult about this activity? What did you find rewarding? What would you do differently in the future?

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Read More About It

Hartzell, Gary. A School is a School. School Library Journal, Dec 2003; 49(12), 35. (Access requires login) . . .
Ideas for responding to someone who thinks schools should run like a business.

Hartzell, Gary. Taking the Initiative. School Library Journal, June 2003; 49(6), 39. (Access requires login) . . .
Five proactive strategies for expanding your influence.

Lau, Debra. Got Clout. School Library Journal, May 2002; 48(5), 40. (Access requires login) . . .
Results of survey on the influence and job satisfaction of school librarians - - showing increasing influence of librarians.

Minkel, Walter. Making Every Librarian a Leader. School Library Journal, Oct 2002; 48(10), 46. (Access requires login) . . .
An innovative program is challenging Seattle's librarians to expand their role and extend their influence in the school.

Position Statement on the School Library Media Supervisor from American Association of School Librarians

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