New Faculty Collaboration

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.

Reserve Shelf

Reserve Shelf

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]

Online Request Form - Google Forms

Online Request Form – Google Forms

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

 

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Author: Hannah Byrd Little

I’m a dedicated Library Director at The Webb School of Bell Buckle, leveraging my background in higher education libraries to guide students through the crucial transition from school to college and beyond.

I am honored to have served as the AASL Chair for the Independent School Section in 2023 and am excited to begin my upcoming role as Director-At-Large for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) later this year, following my previous experience as a Member Guide in the AASL Emerging Leaders program. These appointments reflect my commitment to advancing library education and professional development on a national scale.

With experience in state-level leadership through the Tennessee Association of School Librarians (TASL), including serving as TASL President in 2012, I bring a wealth of knowledge to my role. My educational background includes certifications as a Library Information Specialist for PreK-12th grade, a Bachelor of Science in Communications (Advertising & Public Relations), a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies (Education & Information Systems), and a Master’s in Library and Information Science.



Categories: Blog Topics, Community/Teacher Collaboration

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