With a new school year beginning very soon, I thought I’d write a bit about some awesome ways to collaborate with your school library and your librarian. Your library can be a valuable resource and help make your job more manageable. I highly encourage you to reach out to your librarian and open the doors for collaboration!
1. Increase technology integration in your classroom.
Many librarians are also in charge of technology integration on campus. Did you know that most state and national library conferences heavily include technology training? As part of library school, librarians are also exposed to the latest and greatest technology trends. If you’re having trouble using a specific tool, or if you’re just not sure what tool would best fit your needs, stop by the library!
2. Collaborate on engaging lesson plans.
In Texas, librarians are required to serve at least 2 years in the classroom. In order to best build our library resources, we stay aware of the current classroom curriculum in all content areas being taught on campus. If you are interested in jazzing up any lesson, your librarian might have some great ideas! From Breakout EDU to technology integration or Maker activities, your library might be able to offer an excellent change of pace.
3. Help students develop research skills.
Your librarian is highly trained not only in finding information, but in teaching this skill to students and staff. If research is not your strong suit, or if you’d like a different voice to assist with struggling students, your librarian can definitely offer a helping hand!
4. Collaborate on fun projects.
There are many new trends sweeping the library world. From Maker activities to increased awareness of STEM/STEAM, your librarian can help you create fun projects to keep students engaged and support your curriculum.
5. Promote the love of reading.
When it comes to reading, librarians are very well-versed in the newest, hottest titles. We know what students want to read, and if we don’t have it, we know how to find it. And if for whatever reason we can’t find it, we can find something very similar. And when a student finishes a book they love, we can find something else they’ll enjoy, too. Seriously. Reader’s advisory is a librarian’s strong suit.
6. Fight fake news.
We live in a world where people are constantly shouting, “FAKE NEWS!” If it’s true that almost half of America gets their news on sites like Facebook, it’s also true that a lot of it is coming from unreliable resources. Go to the library for assistance in finding quality resources to help your students learn how to spot fake news when they see it!
7. Develop strong digital citizenship skills.
Your library/librarian can help you and your students build digital citizenship skills. What does your digital footprint look like? Are you putting your best face forward? In the library, you can learn how to communicate with the world effectively. You can also learn skills to keep yourself safe from dangers like identity theft.
8. Connect your classroom to the world.
Librarians are well connected. Are you interested in setting up a classroom conversation with students from another state? How about another country? Chances are, your library can help make that happen. Better yet, your library likely has the technology available to make this conversation take place even easier.
9. Be a test-area for new projects.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about librarians, we are ready and willing to try new things. A lot of the time, all a teacher has to do is throw an idea out there. Look at me, for example. I really don’t know much about computer programming, but I am teaming up with an innovative science teacher next school year to start a robotics team!
10. Advance the curriculum and connect with teaching partners.
Again, your librarian likely has his/her finger on the pulse of curriculum for every subject taught on your campus. If you aren’t meeting with your cross-curricular teaching partners, your librarian might be able to help you make those connections. Your librarian might also be aware of additional professional development opportunities (and ideas for funding!) as well.