My colleague and I did our presentation today at the conference: Headed to Victory Lane! Library Media Coordinators as Teacher Leaders.
Basically we introduced the concepts of managers and leaders. As librarians, we manage a whole lot of stuff: the collection, circulation, schedules, resources. But if we are going to grow ourselves and our library media programs, we need to move from managing stuff to leading our profession and our programs.
Strong teacher librarian leaders are confident in the 21st century skills and learners: they know how to instruct students for information literacy. They don't just cooperate with their teachers, pulling resources and assisting on the side; they collaborate with their teachers, designing lessons and curriculum and taking part in evaluation and assessment of student learning.
Strong teacher librarians are all about professional development. They constantly are pursuing their own learning in the field of school librarianship, but they also stay up on the latest trends in education, education policy, and other content areas. Not only are they learners themselves, they are teachers of teachers, facilitating professional development for other teacher librarians and for their content area classroom colleagues.
Strong teacher librarian leaders understand the need for personal and professional renewal, whether it's a retreat with their professional learning team or solitude to soak their feet and read the latest YA novel. Personal renewal makes them more amenable to professional renewal which ultimately helps to make them awesome teacher leaders.
Strong teacher librarian leaders are not just advocates for their library media programs; they are activists for their programs. They work to create strong support in their school and community for the programs that will benefit their students the most. They act on their passions, beliefs, and expertises to grow great library media programs.