Collaboration is no longer painful – or precious. Vince Clarke
I love this quote! I came across it recently, and it got me thinking about how I approach and view collaboration. It really is something that we can do so easily, yet it seems to be a challenge we all face- especially how to do more of it! Collaboration is nothing new. It is (or at least should be) one of the cornerstones of any successful school library program. But as library programs evolve so should our approach to how we work with others. Now more than ever we have countless ways to collaborate and are able to do so with those outside of our buildings, and it can be done by simply “liking”, “re-tweeting”, or hitting “+1”. I recently read an article that highlighted the ways we can work with others digitally, and it really struck a chord with me.
In the past I have always considered collaboration to be sitting down with a classroom teacher, or other librarian, and planning together- a lesson, a new display, a project. I never thought of my time following other professionals on Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram as collaboration. But guess what? It is! Recently Amber Teamann shared her ideas in Connected Principals about how all the ways we share, get ideas, and network are actually new forms of collaboration. She talked about seeing an example of a Poplet, sharing it on social media, and reaping the rewards of the conversations that resulted. So simple, yet so effective. You can see her “epiphany” as she refers to it here: http://connectedprincipals.com/archives/11222. (Interestingly, I found the link to this article via a librarian I follow on Twitter!)
I challenge you to get more involved professionally in social media. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas! For so long I just read what others posted, and it was once I began tweeting out, posting, pinning, and sharing what I had learned or discovered, that the true collaboration occurred. If you are already an active participant in social media, then own that when others ask you to share how you collaborate- don’t diminish it! It is valuable and meaningful!
Now- go out and share something new you’ve recently learned, and let the conversations and collaboration flow!
Teamann, Amber. “Collaboration… Who Doesn’t Have Time?” Web log post. Connected Principals. N.p., 17 Feb. 2015. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.
Author: Jennifer Laboon
Jennifer LaBoon is the Coordinator of Library Technology in Fort Worth ISD. She serves on the AASL Blog Committee, on the Executive Board of the Texas Library Association, volunteers with a local children’s musical theater group, and is an avid TCU fan.