The concept of a newsletter is a simple one. It is not flashy or overly creative, but for the library program it has been transformative. Currently, I send a monthly newsletter, which allows for a quick, effective, and easy way to share experiences that are happening in the library with my stakeholders. Here are four things that I have noticed when sharing a monthly newsletter.
Just like many library programs, my program has had a shift in what it represents and offers to students. A shift like this has to be shared, but culture takes time to change. Using a newsletter allowed me to share specific examples of what students were doing in the library. Additionally, these examples could be shared on a regular basis without it feeling forced. Over time, this allowed for people’s understanding of the library program to move beyond a place where students just checked out books. Instead, it became a place where reading, information literacy, and technology skills merge to benefit student learning.
Connection to Community
There is a section, in every newsletter, where events happening at public libraries are highlighted. This information allows people to realize what the public library can offer.
Parents, administrators, and teachers are all sent the newsletter on a monthly basis. What this allows others to see is the connections that the library skills have with their curriculum. Furthermore, collaborative lessons have been developed when teachers were inspired based on what was shared.
As a busy librarian, it is often hard to make time to reflect on what has been taught and what objectives students still need to learn. By writing a newsletter each month, it forces me to stop and identify what has been successful and how we should move forward.
These newsletters are created using Smore. Smore provides a link that can be sent easily through email. Smore is a great resource in that it is cheap, easy to use, and looks great when you are finished. I also love that it keeps track of data. I know how many people have looked at the site and how long they have spent reading the newsletter. It tells me what resources they have clicked on most. All of this information helps to determine what should be shared in the future.
The main point of all of this is that advocacy can take many forms, and this is just one that works for me. What works for you?
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).
Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Technology
I too send out a newsletter each month. I had not thought to add the public library’s events to it until reading your post. I will have to look into that and try it.
Your newsletter really gets the word out; and what a wonderful advocacy tool – especially for those parents of young children who now know that they can expect their kids to have access to a richly creative and inviting library. Hopefully they’ll support that all through their kids school lives. Enjoy!