Over this vacation, I have been thinking a lot about change and also about the problems we are facing in education -- especially libraries. I have read some amazing blog posts from my PLN. One of my favorites is from the amazing Jennifer LaGarde who wrote this great post on how to change perceptions of your library. It is really a blueprint to do things the right way.
Change is hard. I know for a long time I lived my life scared to death about it. We as librarians and educators need to change! We can no longer stay the way we have been. We will not survive!
So how do we do this?
I don't have all the answers nor do I proclaim to, but here are some of my thoughts.
1. Start small - Baby steps
You will never be able to change everything you want to so start small. Do one small thing at a time. Maybe its changing the website, maybe genrefy your fiction area. Try one new thing and build from that.
2. Get on Twitter-
As librarians we are isolated. We are usually the only ones in our schools so it is hard to learn from or bounce ideas off another person. Twitter has changed that. Every day I learn from my PLN! You don't even need to tweet -- just follow some of the librarian rockstars like Shannon Miller, Joyce Valenza, Jennifer LaGarde, Gwyneth Jones, Nikki D Robertson, Michelle Cooper, Tiffany Whitehead, Sherry Glick, John Schu,and Matthew Winner and even me :-). Follow who they follow. Then spend a few minutes looking at what they are tweeting about. I promise you will learn something new everyday!
3. Embrace Technology - It is not going away. Sorry to have to break that news to you. Today our jobs are about so much more than books! There are days at my job that I almost never touch a book. Yes, I said it. If you don't embrace technology and become the technology leader in your school you will become irrelevant very quickly. You need to be the one that the teachers and students come to when they have questions about technology. You need to be the person that leads the administration's vision for technology. You also need to be the go-to trainer on technology. If you are not you need to become that quick. How do you do that? There are tons of great free resources out there to help you. TL Virtual Cafe, Edcamps, and ISTE SIGLIB are all great examples of technology tools.
4. Take Risks- You have to step out of your comfort zone and take a risk. Change is not comfortable but you must take that risk or nothing will change.
5. You will Fail - “Life is all about learning and one of the most memorable ways of learning something is by messing up.” – Dr. Wayne. W. Dyer. It is how you learn from that failure that will lead to changes. It is ok and it is to be expected. No one is perfect. Reflect on the failure so you can learn and grow from it.
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.