Libraries: I’m a believer! How do I make converts?

Library as a Kitchen

I recently had the absolute pleasure and privilege of being invited to share with librarians in the SLANZA Waikato/BOP area around the weighty and timely topic of library advocacy.

After being affected by fog in Christchurch and three plane rides later, I finally arrived in Hamilton at 9 o’clock at night (original arrival time was scheduled at 3.30pm! There’s a potential separate blog post on my stressful, circuitous journey, but I digress) and drove across to Tauranga to meet with the SLANZA Waikato/BOP crew the following morning.

While the weather that Saturday morning may have kept more faint-hearted souls in their beds, that is certainly not the case for intrepid librarians!  They are like the Pony Express riders of the historic Amerian West, “heroes for the much needed and dangerous service they provided for the nation” and cheerfully turned out in good numbers. (They were admirably rewarded with a stunning morning tea spread to keep their energy levels at high! Thanks, team!)

Occupational Invisibility

The workshop covered 10 key areas:

  1. Taking a look at the big picture
  2. Identifying our vision
  3. Acknowledging what we already do
  4. Planning
  5. Collaborative strategies
  6. Working with our whole community
  7. Telling our story
  8. Promotion and marketing
  9. How to gather evidence and what to do with it
  10. Tools of the trade

Ross Todd Quote

Since coming across it several years ago, I have often reflected on Lauren Cohen’s Librarian 2.0 Manifesto, which is startlingly, now more than 10 years old, and it had inspired me to want to write my own, but it never got to the top of my “to do” pile.

So, while preparing for this workshop I revisited it, along with re-reading the UNESCO and IFLA School Library Manifesto and the School Library and Learning in the Information Landscape: Guidelines for New Zealand Schools, which is now more than 15 years old. It made me realise that there has been little of significance published about advocating for school libraries and learning in more than a decade and given the rate of change in education in those dozen or so years it certainly gives pause for thought.

It also made me revisit my goal of writing my own manifesto but chose a different path and instead I incorporated the UNESCO manifesto and the NZ guidelines with my own library world view and this is what I came up with:

If you’d like more details about the advocacy workshop you can access it here:

Librarian BookAnd if you are looking for even more inspiration then you should invest in a copy of This is What A Librarian Looks Like: A Celebration of Libraries, Communities, and Access to Information by Kyle Cassidy.  It is awesome! Expect a blog post soon on this amazing book.

Thanks to the Waikato/BOP Committee for inviting me to come and share with them. They’re an awesome team, ably led by Glenys and Linda.  And thank you guys for the most precious of gifts you can give a librarian, a newly published book!

Finally, I’ll leave you with what has become a bit of a catchphrase for me in recent months as I continue to explore the intersection between libraries and learning.

Visible Learning Hattie

 

 

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New issue of Weve available!

Weve is one of the publications I mentioned in my recent post about professional reading, so I’m thrilled to have been invited to contribute to the latest edition!
This challenged, stretched, excited and frightened me, all at the same time! I’m so proud of stepping outside of my comfort zone and creating something new. I’ve always been a words girl, so parsing my words right back and selecting just the right ones with the right images to express my thoughts was definitely moving beyond comfort. I enjoyed the brainstorming that went along with this immensely! Thank you, Sally and Megan for inviting me to do this, and then actually using my little movie!

Heroes Mingle

Read more Click on the image to open Weve

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Reality Librarianship – Up Close and Personal

So tonight was a first for me since becoming a librarian 12 years ago – I got up close and personal with about 60 other librarians from all over New Zealand – from Auckland to Invercargill – talking about one of my biggest passions: embedded information literacy skills and how that looks at James Hargest College, without seeing anyone.

Sally Pewhairangi and Megan Ingle, together they are Heroes Mingle – a fantastic name for their collaborative partnership – have developed the Reality Librarianship series as a virtual professional development opportunity to discuss areas of interest to all of us in library-land.  They have discovered an easy, no-cost way for motivated library professionals to access topical, relevant CPD from the comfort of their own living rooms.

From the interviewee’s point of view it was relatively simple and stress-free and Megan and Sally made the whole experience straight-forward and enjoyable.  Of course, I’m one of these people that once you get me started talking about something I’m passionate about it’s hard to shut me up!  Megan did an admirable job in reigning me in and keeping me on track!

If you know me, you know that I believe wholeheartedly in the three big C’s – Collaboration, Communication and Connection.  It’s why I never turn down any opportunity to talk about my work at school and beyond as well as to listen to others share their passions and knowledge.  It is only by communicating with one another that we find our common interests and areas of intersection.  It’s by others being generous in sharing their ideas and knowledge that I have been able to grow as a professional and make the work I do meaningful for my school community.

None of these big C’s have ever been easier in our  Web 2.0, online environment, as tonight’s session illustrates.  I can just as easily work on a collaborative project with someone in the UK or Canada as I can with someone in Wellington or Auckland

My flock-mates (thanks CS and DW) indulge me when my gums flap like they’re trying to break the word speed record as they know some of my best ideas and learning comes from verbalising random thoughts and brainstorming with them.  There is such power in shared light bulb moments.  Identify your flock-mates and, if you aren’t already, start talking to them about whatever is brewing in your brain.

I am also an ardent advocate of the philosophy of reaping and sowing.  Timing is everything, and sometimes the timing means that you spend the majority of your energy sowing into the areas that are important. But don’t be impatient and expect immediate results. Rather, take a more long-term view.  If you plant enough seeds in the right places and continue to water and nurture them, eventually they will sprout and grow.  My work at Hargest for the past six years has been all about sowing, watering and nurturing and now I am fortunate enough to be reaping the fruits of those particular labours.  I now have teachers approaching me to work with them, whereas previously I would have been the initiator of our collaborations. If you want to know more about some of the collaborative strategies I’ve used then you can read more about them here.

Encourage others in their endeavours.  Even the smallest move forward is a step in the right direction.  And above all, celebrate your successes, no matter how insignificant you might think they are.  All of those little, seemingly insignificant events or moments will weave together into something bigger. Take some satisfaction in them along the way.

Now, do yourself a favour. Go to the Finding Heroes site and register for Paul Hayton’s interview for next Thursday night.  He’s going to be speaking on Powerhouse, Experiencing Great Ideas in Action. Go on, do it!!