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Does Your Principal Know How Your LMC is Affecting Student Achievement?

Do you send monthly reports to your principal on the number of materials circulated, teacher collaboration project results, new technologies, or other items?  Do you spend time with your principal one-on-one to update them on the number of students visiting the library on their own or with a class?  Do you have activities in your library such as poetry slams or book clubs that you inform your principal about the learning outcomes?   I hear that some do give reports to principals and others hardly see their principal.  For those of you that do communicate with your principals on a regular basis, what do you talk about?  What questions do they ask you?  What information do you give them?  Or what information would you like to give them?  A media tech in one of my elementary schools recently asked me about this as a follow-up to my comment to share their circulation statistics with their principals in a monthly report and/or meeting.  I decided to post this question to the Calling All School Librarians blog to gather input from across the state to share with all of our district media staff.  Please share this information in the comments section of this post so that everyone can benefit by your input.  

Do you utilize the reports that can be run through vendor collection analysis packages that if shared, would give principals information about your collections and help justify their need to be updated, expanded? Did you complete the Colorado surveys of past years or the AASL survey that was due March 15th ?   The report from this survey has valuable information to review with your principal as well – especially as your data compares with other schools similar to yours in Colorado or nation-wide.  The second year of AASL’s longitudinal survey, “School Libraries Count!” just closed yesterday.  Participation from those who completed the survey last year is even more valuable this year to use in comparisons.  This data from Colorado’s past years is available on the Library Research Service’s website:  http://www.lrs.org/school_stats.php  

This year’s survey posed additional questions about social networking and other electronic tools used in instruction by school library staff and their classroom teacher collaborators. The purpose of this annual survey is to provide longitudinal data for advocacy at the local, state, and national level. Data since the first year has appeared in articles by eSchool News, Education Week, and several general newspapers. Questions regarding the survey may be directed to aasl@ala.org or researched at http://www.ala.org/ala/aasl/slcsurvey.cfm 

Thank you for your comments and all you do for Colorado’s kids.

PS:  Sizing Up America’s School Libraries: the First Annual Report on the AASL Longitudinal Survey of School Library Media Centers (AASL National Conference, Reno, October 26, 2007) is now available on the AASL website 

And, watch Keith Curry Lance talk about School Libraries Count! – FYI – I had to view this from home on my laptop to see it.

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3 Responses

  1. Do you realize that the bookshelf is the information source of last resort? That circulation statistics are the trappings of an age when information was contained in discreet containers that required careful management, cataloging and funding-allocation? Do you realize that age is passing?

    By all means, communicate with your principal, but I question whether circulation statistics matter to anyone anymore. I’d suggest you focus on student work, student achievement and community relations rather than the size of your collection, the frequency students come to you or the age of your print materials. These are now in danger of becoming irrelevant… if they haven’t already.

    -Too controversial to sign

  2. […] Calling All School Librarians! A weblog for school librarians in Colorado. « Does Your Principal Know How Your LMC is Affecting Student Achievement? […]

  3. Okay, I still didn’t get what I asked for realistically but I perhaps did idealistically.

    I really do want to know what school library staff give to and discuss with their principals. I have libraries with only paraprofessionals and they want to know. Rather than give them just my list, I wanted to hear best practice throughout Colorado in this area.

    Idealistically I got another thing that I wanted – conversation, brainstorming, soap-boxing and all those good things you need to hear in order to come up with your own consolidated list of best practice based on what everyone says.

    I agree with Laura and Dan – thank you both for commenting. I agree with Too Controversal and only hope that your reason for not submitting your name was fear of your district’s retribution. I (as district library staff ) would relish the comments you made if you were in my district. If you are, we need to talk. If you are not, in my opinion you need to go communicate with whomever made you feel it wasn’t safe to list your name. Unless of course being fired might be the result.

    If you do not talk to your principal, perhaps you should just go and ask them what questions they have about your program. It all starts with making that initial first step. Build a relationship with your principal and market your library to them from the standpoint of helping them help your school’s student achieve in whatever way that may be.

    In regard to your statement, “Do you realize that age is passing?” I believe instead that “that age is changing and expanding”. We are all at different points in that evolution and need to approach it where we are on the timeline of that change.

    Motto: “Now that we’ve hit the brick wall, how do we get around it”
    Blog: cmasson50.blogspot.com

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