Welcoming 17 new faculty and staff!
This year my small, rural school welcomed a total of seventeen new faculty/staff. I am hopeful for the opportunities that come with a group of fresh new faculty. I am also overwhelmed with the challenge of supporting these new teachers who each have unique curriculum and techniques. At the end of last year many of my longtime colleagues either retired or entered a new phase in their career taking them into leadership in other schools, etc. This all happened, just when we had finally developed deep, collaborative relationships.
I struggled with what to offer during new faculty orientation and beyond. I decided in the beginning to convey philosophy rather than details. Mainly, because everyone was giving details, and these newbies were headed to information overload. We talked about our guiding philosophies like “freedom to read”, access to information, and creating a vital and current collection by weeding and feeding the collection. Then we created tools and strategies to begin the collaborative relationship.
Tools for Collaboration
Tool # 1 – Simple Resource / Collaboration form
Tool # 2 – College Style “reserve shelf” for special projects
Tool # 3 – Online Request Form
The Library Request form included blanks for: Title of the Book, Author, Purpose [ ie. Strictly Curriculum, Professional Development/Ed, Community Interest, Children’s Interest, Student Request, Research Paper/Project, Other] Also, Genre, Curriculum, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Other Media, and a blank for email notification
Strategies for Collaboration
Strategy # 1 – Enlist the new faculty to help with ‘weeding and feeding’ the collection
Strategy # 2 – Visit departmental curriculum planning meetings
Strategy # 3 – Focus on the most eager and/or natural collaborators [17 new faculty/staff – that is overwhelming]
The next steps are to visit departmental meetings to gain a deeper understanding of the changes these faculty are bringing to the curriculum. Collaboration doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen without outreach. Be willing to “travel” to the classrooms and to meetings if you are able. My library school mentor called this “evangelistic outreach.” Sometimes, I call it “taking the show on the road.”
I may also try out Kelly Hincks “Sweet Library Resources Party” idea
Author: Hannah Byrd Little
Hello, I am the Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle. I use my past experience in college and university libraries to help my current students in school libraries transition into college, career, and life. I am currently the lead Senior Class Adviser for the Capstone Project. I also served at the state level with the Tennessee Association of School Librarians executive board from 2009-2013 and was the TASL president in 2012. I am certified as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, have a BS in Communications with a concentration in Advertising and Public Relations, a BS in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Information Systems and a Masters in Library and Information Science.