Summer greetings from my farm in NC! Some readers may have worked during the summer months; for others summer is a time to wind down. Whatever the case may be for you, I do hope you have enjoyed some time of relaxation, rest, and reflection. For me summer is a time to recharge, enjoy time with family, and read. I don’t know about you, but my stack of books just keeps growing!
One of the AASL’s National School Library Standards Shared Foundations is Collaborate. The Key Commitment for this foundation is “work effectively with others to broaden perspectives and work toward common goals” (pg. 49). I can imagine, if you are anything like me, you have spent time over the summer collaborating with colleagues as you prepare for another school year. The common goals may be similar to mine or unique to your patrons, but collaboration is just what we do as school librarians.
Collaborating to Broaden Perspectives
Just last week, I had the opportunity to create a podcast with dynamic English teacher Jamee Webb. Our unscripted conversation touched on creating a culture of reading at our school, collaborating to impact student learning, instructional technology, and professional growth. As members of our district’s Delta Fellows program, our podcast will be shared with other educators to promote professional development opportunities. Ultimately, from my point of view, the podcast models the use of a communication tool to spread the word about partnering with school librarians!
Collaborating for a Common Goal
Another way I collaborate with colleagues is through my membership in the North Carolina School Library Media Association (NCSLMA). This organization is an affiliate member of AASL. I joined NCSLMA as a student while attending East Carolina University during graduate school. Over the years, my collaboration with NCSLMA has increased as I now serve as the president elect and annual conference chair.
If you have ever been involved with planning a statewide annual conference, you know the collaboration involved to accomplish a common goal! If you attend a conference for any organization, please know that the work behind the scenes to make the conference a reality is truly a labor of love and a huge collaborative effort. Each of us can support our state and national organizations through active membership. If you are so inclined, I encourage you to get involved as a board member. Your personal experiences and expertise will add value to your state organization, and you will be a part of a wonderful collaborative opportunity.
If you want to know more about NCSLMA’s annual conference, which will be this October 2-4, in Winston-Salem, NC, visit www.ncslma.org/events. We would love to Connect, Create & Curate with you!
Whether you are still enjoying your summer vacation or are already back to school, I wish you a wonderful start to the 2019-2020 school year. May you inspire students to love reading and may you collaborate with others to grow professionally and impact student learning.
American Association of School Librarians. 2018. National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. Chicago: ALA.
Author: Laura Long
Laura Long is the school library media specialist at Highland School of Technology in Gastonia, NC, a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her Masters of Library Science from East Carolina University. She is a Gaston County Schools’ Delta Fellow, Pinnacle Technology Leader and member of the Pioneering Educators Team, as well as a National Board certified language arts teacher. Additionally, she is the President of the North Carolina School Library Media Association. She loves collaborating and helping her students connect with others around the world, so feel free to contact her via email or social media.