Saturday, January 30, 2016

Six Ways To Become More Indispensable

Six Ways To Become More Indispensable

It worries me when I hear that some schools in other states are doing away with their school librarians. This is a time when librarians are needed more than ever in schools since we have training in literacy, research skills, and technology. With these skills at our disposal, how can districts simply choose to eliminate these positions? I think there are many reasons; and among these are reduced school budgets and perhaps a perception that librarians only check out books. I want to make my position indispensable so that stakeholders never want to eliminate it. These six steps are simple and can help you change how your position is viewed. It doesn't happen overnight since it is a process. Please, consider making these six steps a part of your daily best practices, even when you may not feel like it. You WILL see a difference over time! I am not perfect at any of these points, but I try very hard to do each of them. Let's examine some practices that have helped me over the years:

1. Be approachable, and have a consistent good attitude.

If you reach out to others and make yourself approachable, people will be drawn to you. It doesn't cost a bit extra to make people feel comfortable by being nice and welcoming.

I have to work at having a good attitude some days. If you choose to have a good attitude and project this to others, it will make your day much better. People are drawn to positive individuals. Strive to be that person in your building.

2. Be dependable. If you say you will do something, do it.

Don't you love it when a colleague tells you they will have something done, and they come through every time? There is nothing like a dependable person that you can count on. The flip side of this is that individual that says they will do something, but they never do. They only provide excuses. These folks generally frustrate everyone. Don't be this person; if you make a commitment, come through every time!

3. Serve others.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and had great service? What a great feeling it is to be served by a professional waitress/ waiter that goes the extra mile to make sure you are satisfied. A high level of customer service makes us all happy. If you serve others well, word will get out quickly that you take care of people. This is definitely a crucial step in becoming indispensable.

4. Be a lifelong learner. 

One of the reasons I love Twitter is because it is full of educators that are lifelong learners. These people amaze me at how they are constantly looking to learn more so they can impact students in a greater way. Lifelong learners are never satisfied with where they are are. They have a growth mindset that demands going to the next level. They are constantly forming questions and researching answers. A school librarian with this mindset will most likely be a leader in their building! Train your brain to ask questions, and then research the answers. Read education magazines, library journals, and blogs. Learn about the latest technologies. Take part in Twitter education chats. Attend conferences and bring back new ideas to your building. Hangout with other motivated educators. Develop your growth mindset, and thirst for lifelong learning. If you project this passion, you will spread this interest throughout your building and personal learning network! Passionate learning is contagious.

5. Go above and beyond in your job.

If you make a regular practice of going the extra mile in your job and for others, it will get noticed. When my wife and I are out eating in a restaurant, I love it when we get a server that makes sure our food requirements are met. Occasionally, we will get a server that goes over the top with their service. This always makes us feel like the server cares about us and our needs. Don't you love that feeling too? Going above and beyond in a job is a sign of a true professional that loves their work! In school librarianship, this could be a follow up visit or email when we are helping troubleshoot technology. It could be ordering a book that a student or teacher has requested, then tracking them down to make the delivery when it arrives... I love doing this! When you put forth extra effort, it shows people you care about them and love what you do. This type of action draws people into your program. Everyone wants to be served with a high level of professionalism and care!

6. Promote what you do in the school and on social media.

Many educators have told me they don't feel comfortable using social media or they feel like sharing happenings might seem like bragging. If we keep our social media posts positive and student focused, it is certainly not bragging. We should enjoy celebrating strong moments with our friends and colleagues. Social media will allow others to see examples of our best practices and programs. This can change how your audience perceives what you do in the school library! One of my favorite questions to ask to other teacher librarians when they express concern about sharing on social media is, "If you don't tell them, how will they know what you are doing?" Promote, share, email, post, display pictures, blog, make posters, and shout from hallways and the roof if necessary! You never know how your celebrations and stories might draw others to partner with you in the school library. What might happen if we all shared our best practices and pictures from the library on social media? It just might transform the perception of our jobs and empower future school librarians!

Closing Thoughts

I hope these six practices will help you better serve others. There are days when these six steps are easy to fulfill. Then, occasionally, the opposite occurs; and it seems like a long shot to do just one well. School librarians have the potential to impact every teacher, student, and administrator in their buildings. What a great opportunity this is to make a difference in so many lives! Let's encourage each other to be our best for those that need our services!

I have an email newsletter for the subscribers of the Library Media Tech Talk blog. If you are interested in exclusive content not appearing on the blog, be sure to subscribe by submitting your email address! Subscribe here!

This might help you understand Twitter education chats and hashtags!

Have you ever asked students why they like the school library? We did, and you can click here to see what happened!

Please Subscribe if you are enjoying this blog. Please, put your email address in the box on the right side of the page. You will receive notifications when I post new blog entries!

Contact Me/ Follow Me


Are you on Twitter?

Follow me : @stony12270

Follow our library (LHS_Library): @LHS_Library1

No comments:

Post a Comment