The Principal's Guide to a Powerful Library Media Program: A School Library for the 21st Century

The Principal's Guide to a Powerful Library Media Program: A School Library for the 21st Century

The Principal's Guide to a Powerful Library Media Program: A School Library for the 21st Century

The Principal's Guide to a Powerful Library Media Program: A School Library for the 21st Century


A campus administrator looking to improve an existing library media program or create a new one. A teacher or librarian seeking the principal's support for establishing a more effective program. A university professor requiring the foundation for a curriculum to instruct preservice librarians and campus administrators. In each of these scenarios, The Principal's Guide to a Powerful Library Media Program can provide relevant background information, clear guidance, and tangible techniques.

This unique text draws on professional literature, research, site visits, interviews, and the coauthors' collective years of experience to help principals be effective practioners, and to facilitate full comprehension of the far-reaching benefits a successful library media program has on the entire campus. The anecdotes and insights on best practices illustrate the principal's role in managing and facilitating the library media program- including hiring, budgeting, scheduling, and professional development. The methodology of "GEAR"- Gather information, Establish goals, Apply strategy, and Reflect- is championed throughout the book.


The number of students enrolled in schools has never been larger, and the challenges facing students, educational professionals, school leaders, and parents have never been greater. Schools today are richly diverse places to learn—an amalgam of cultures and languages and an ideal forum for varied thoughts and opinions. Moreover, in a time when technologies are proliferating, communication is immediate, and communities are globally connected—managing, accessing, and making sense of information should be considered a standard or basic skill in a democratic society. Yet matters such as school funding, safety, campus overcrowding, and policies and pressures associated with increased performance and high impact testing are often shaping the way schools do business.

Considering these issues, there has never been a more appropriate time to enable campus professionals to do what they can do best. For the library media specialist this means spending time planning and teaching with classroom colleagues across all grade levels and disciplines and serving as a member of the school’s literacy learning team.

It means serving as a technology applications and information literacy leader who works with students at point of instructional need and collaborates in resource planning across the school. Moreover, it means providing professional development to others while consistently continuing to learn oneself. And, finally, it means developing a collection based on student interest and the curriculum and creating programming that draws others into the library media center.

But few administrative preparation programs actually educate future campus leaders and decision makers about library-related “best practice” (MacNeil and Wilson). Consequently, countless library media specialists in elementary and secondary schools spend time “covering classes” during teacher conference periods or faculty absences; trapped in a fixed library schedule or rotation, forced to teach skills out of context and disconnected from the classroom curriculum; managing electronic reading incentive programs; distributing and inventorying textbooks; and supervising a program with no paraprofessional to assist with facilitation. Because the administrative team is instrumental in shaping the roles, responsibilities, and tasks of their campus personnel, they must be more aware of the appropriate work of the library media specialist.

That is where this text comes in. This guide is a balance of best practice philosophy and successful application. The intent of this book is not to cover the waterfront of literature on library media programs, nor is it to . . .

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