School Library Journal’s Fall Summit, Seattle, Washington

I had the privilege of attending The School Library Journal’s Fall Summit 2 weeks ago. It was 2 1/2 days packed with ideas and information on Ready for Anything: Teaming Up to Support the Whole Child, PreK to 20. There were wonderful speakers, a school tour, and visits with top vendors. Here are a few of my observations, including some challenges to YOU:

School Tour-The recurring theme - supporting teachers and students through collaboration! They all emphasized the same things: Research, instruction, using academic language, and integrating technology. The high school and middle school were incorporating maker spaces with materials ranging from crayons, colored pencils, scissors to a 3-D printer received through a grant. Everyone emphasized instruction and access! The library is a collection of information, not so much a physical space. Focus did seem to be on less traditional seating and learning spaces Research Technologist goes to the classrooms-(This is a practice in a district that lost their librarians! ) Teacher hired specifically to go to classrooms, collaborate with teachers to use more technology and do research . Her motto was “teach more, librarian less.” (but then, she wasn’t a librarian) Many of you are forced to do this now with the crazy schedules you have We must be more visible and vocal about what ONLY WE can do! Librarians need to be “at the table” for planning!!! Find out what keeps administrators up at night—what are the strategic needs in your school and be a part of the solution!

Tacoma Public Schools Initiative-District wide, the students are to be: Safe, Respectful, responsible, Learners, Caring. They call it Emotional Intelligence and the 3 pillars are Respect, Safety, Responsibility. (Sounds like our PBIS) For students to be “future ready”, they must be Complex Thinkers, Quality Producers, and Self Directed Learners. Librarians should be encouraging students to ask Why, How, and What.

Panel of Vendors-They are here to help us. Ask them! We must have a clear idea of our mission. Ask ourselves: Are there things I need to stop doing so I can do something else? What can I give up to have time to do the REALLY important stuff?

Library Information Technology Teachers (LIT) There should be 3 parts to our programs-1-Reading advocacy 2-Information Technology 3-Information management We are the Chief Information Officer, goal is to reach every child.

Reach Out and Read-GOOGLE THIS!!! Perri Klass, author, physician, national medical director Parents who bring children to clinics receive age appropriate books at EVERY visit & instructions on how to read to your child Health Care professionals use the books as part of the examination to model literacy behaviors This is an initiative we need to investigate for our own LSUS medical center and other pediatric care centers!!! Provide Literacy Rich waiting rooms, promote not “screen time” for children under 2 Promote “take 20, read plenty” helps to close the Achievement gap before it starts.

LILEAD Program-Library Leadership Initiative Believe that Public Education is a civil right, having a School library is a civil right Be a Brave leader, embrace the “E” words-Empower, Enable, Equip You are the smallest team in instructional services but have the biggest impact! WE don’t need anyone’s permission to do what’s right for students Take advantage of windows of opportunity Build a culture of inquiry at each school—Ask-think-create-share-grow— “I’m not afraid of storms because I’m learning to steer my ship” The library is not so much as place but a collection of information

Wes Moore-Author of Discovering Wes Moore and The Other Wes Moore If you are not familiar with this story, look him up on Amazon or Destiny. Book was on La Teen Readers’ Choice last year His parting words to us were, “Teach freedom so that they are never in a room that they don’t belong. When it’s time to leave here (wherever it is) make sure that it mattered that you were ever even there. While we’re here, let’s PUSH!!!!!” Your work matters—to kids, parents, communities!

Give a hoot….. @ your library

Cathy Smith

Curriculum Specialist, Libraries, Caddo Schools

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