Your students are your best advocates! Keep their stories on hand to share with other stakeholders. For example, these stories were recently shared on the AASLForum email list…
From Sara Kelly Johns:
Some students realize after they graduate that they are better prepared for college and life because of what they learned from librarians. I treasure the student who rolled her eyes at me through HS and then came in for a returning-students assembly just before Christmas and told the juniors, seniors and administrators that what Mrs. Johns “made” her do in the library was the difference in her success during her first semester.
For you to get that reaction from a current student is “gold,” an anecdote you can use and an advocate for your library program. YES!
From BJ McCracken:
Recently a student inadvertently highlighted both the need for certified librarians and the gap in understanding of what we do within the school. Topics near and dear to our hearts. She was working on her senior research paper, and she asked me if it was bad that she found me more helpful and easier to understand than her teacher…okay, that was a ‘stop and think carefully about your answer’ moment…I responded that different people have different skills and that English teachers are not trained researchers like librarians, which is why we have librarians on duty in the school. I explained to her that librarians have a specialty degree that allows us to help other teachers and students with research problem areas, with how to phrase searches, and with explaining the process using the terms and techniques that work well for each individual. I also told her we are the faculty members who make sure the materials are there for the projects and are trained in how to use those materials. She walked away with a new understanding…then she began telling her friends that librarians are research specialists and we know how to make things easier. Learning Moment: The fact it took until her senior year is a problem that my partner and I need to address. Her response highlighted the lack of understanding many have of our jobs and of what our purpose is within the school. On the silver lining note, students can also become our best advocates to administrators…I smiled to myself as later I overheard her telling an admin member about how cool it is we have specialists in research and how much easier it is when they explain it. YES!!!