Sunday, 16 October 2011

Teacher Librarian as Leader - Introduction

I enjoyed reading the introduction to the text that has been set for this subject, Teacher-Librarian as Leader. The title of the book is Visionary Leaders for Information. Arthur Winzenried’s overview of the remaining chapters provided an insight into how relevant this book will be for this semester’s study of Organisational Theory, Communication and Strategic Planning.

The introductory chapter of Winzenried’s book, Visionary Leaders for Information (2010), offers sound opinions on the importance of leaders as visionaries. The moral purpose of libraries is to provide knowledge creation. A clear plan helps to fulfill the moral purpose, as does responding to the real needs of users. Relationships between manager and client are crucial, as is the need for a strong product focus.

Recalling the history of early methods of information collection and management, including the creation of Melvil Dewey’s world renowned classification system in 1876, Winzenried stressed the enormous changes that personal computers have made to the accessibility of information, and the speed that this information can be located. This phenomenon opened a new door for the library professional, that of importing data correctly and thoroughly, to ensure that information seekers can find and use what they need.

Jean Donham (2005) gave a direct description of the role that library media specialists play in their schools. They are portrayed as having a cross-curricular influence and conduct relationships with principals, administrators, staff and parents. They are given credit as being expert in the promotion of literacy, information fluency and the use of Web 2.0 tools. These attributes are listed and elaborated on in her article
Proactivity is emphasised as the essential tool, the catalyst, for change. Identifying one’s own skills and passions enables the necessary drive to pursue leadership. Realising that I am not an expert in all dimensions of my field is a wise awareness to possess. Her article has convinced me to create a vision for my role as the Coordinator of Kilbreda College’s Library.
Being a lifelong learner assists teacher-librarians to keep “sharpening the saw” (Covey, S. 1990). It is absolutely essential to be updating skills and expertise. Leading from the middle is the reality. Constant reflection and evaluation allows professional improvement to occur. The Annual Review Meeting with the Principal that have been conducted in each of the ten years that I have been a teacher-librarian or a Library Coordinator, has enabled me to reflect on progress that I have made, and to address goals that are yet to be met.
Donham stated that journaling “is a strategy that helps sustain the energy that leadership demands”. She suggested using four questions each day to assist with journaling:
1. What did I learn today?
2. Whom did I nurture today?
3. What challenges did I confront today?
4. How did I make a positive difference today?

No comments:

Post a Comment