Saturday, April 12, 2014

When you're an island...

With whom do you network?

When I first became a librarian, I was part of a district with 19 school libraries.  The librarians met monthly with the district coordinator, who planned the time so that she covered business for the first half and then left the second half of the meetings for us to ask questions and share ideas.  Pat Johnson was a genius with this planning, as it resulted in many things being approached in a unified manner across the district without her having to issue orders, and some really amazing ideas were shared in these meetings.  She also met with the new librarians once a month to ensure we were familiar with selection/deselection, copyright, cataloging and those other things the veterans took for granted.  I am so grateful for all of those meetings and all that I learned.

The next district I worked in had one certified librarian working in a library---- me.  There were a couple of other librarians in administrative positions, but I had no colleagues with whom to discuss district policies and procedures, best practices, or simply run an idea pasy.  Listservs like LM_Net and the monthly regional meetings for coordinators became my lifeline.

And now I am the lone librarian at an international school in a foreign country.  I had to relearn everything... from ordering to copyright rules to who to network with.  LM_Net and the TLA groups continue to provide support, but I found there are situations unique to international schools that require the experience and expertise of other international school librarians, such as resources for cataloging books in Portuguese or where to buy book tape!

Recently I received an email from Chris Hayes, a fellow member of the AGIS (Association of German International Schools) Librarians Group.  Chris organized a virtual round table for the librarians using Google Hangouts.  You can watch our discussion on YouTube.

The video starts after our introductions with me sharing ways I promote the library.  Following me are other librarians from around the country, speaking on topics such as primary and secondary curriculum and ways to promote reading in the secondary grades.

I urge you to find ways to connect with others - join associations, attend conferences, add to listserv discussions, or organize a hangout like Chris did.  We have so much to learn from one another!

1 comment:

  1. Cindy- this is so exciting on so many levels! I love the collaboration and creativity that you all shared. The Google Hangout made me so happy - I love that tool!