Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian

Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian

Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian

Adult Learners: Professional Development and the School Librarian


This practical guide clarifies why school librarians need to be part of the professional development process in their schools- and shows just how to achieve that goal.

• A model for implementation that school librarians can put to immediate use

• Examples of 21st-century tools

• Suggestions for using Web 2.0 tools with teachers and staff


Scenario #3—Designing Professional Development

One day the school librarian is reading his e-mail and gets the following from the principal:

“Mr. Librarian—I need to meet with you. Please send me some options in your schedule
next week to meet for about an hour or so. Sincerely, Mr. Principal.”

Now, the librarian and the principal had long had a very good working relationship and
talked many times daily. The principal had an “open door” policy that anyone could drop in
at any time, so the fact the administrator wanted a set amount of time was unusual and
certainly perplexed the librarian a bit.

Later that week they sat down together, and the principal said he had decided on the
theme and focus for the professional development plan for the next year. The librarian was
not surprised. The principal often thought way in advance about the professional develop
ment plan, making it a big deal with a theme and a lot of fun for the staff. He also made a big
deal about NEVER sharing it with anyone. Not even the secretaries knew what he was doing
each year. He ordered all the materials and supplies on his own. For example, one year the
staff got a note to wear tennis shoes to the opening day meeting, and they spent their first
day’s staff meeting playing The Amazing Race, driving all through the district getting clues and
surprises at all the various stops. There is still talk about the staff members who had lead feet
while driving. All of the professional development meetings (they didn’t have staff meetings)
the rest of the year were some type of game. So, his theme was a big deal.

The focus always connected back to the school improvement plan. While the staff could
sometimes figure out little bits and pieces, they never could quite figure out how he would
frame it.

As the meeting between the librarian and principal continued, the administrator said,
“I’ve decided what we’re doing next year, but I can’t do it. You have to do it.” So, at this point
the librarian was really interested in what was going to happen.

The principal had decided that the staff was going to focus on 21st-century learners and
tools. He knew this was not his area of expertise, so he was bringing the librarian in to help
plan and lead the year. The idea actually came from the librarian because the librarian had
been funneling the principal stuff for quite a while, and it finally clicked with the administra
tor that the school needed to move in that direction. The principal and librarian sat down
and began planning.
—The model for training they came up with is discussed in detail in Chapter 6.

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