You Are Not Alone June 12, 2013Posted by Jen Habley in Check this out!.
Posted on behalf of the AASL Research and Statistics Committee, written by Heather Moorefield-Lang and Jody Howard
Members of the AASL community were asked to participate in a National Center for Literacy Education (NCLE) survey in October 2012. This survey focused on how school librarians collaborate with peers and other members of their professional learning community both as teachers and learners. The results were very informative.
Results from this survey show that over half of us in the profession of school librarianship take part in some sort of professional learning, whether that be through professional reading, conversing with peers and mentors via avenues of social media, collaborating on lessons, or participating in online educator groups. Conferences, such as ALA, AASL and those at the state and county level, workshops, co-planning lessons, online sharing of ideas, and professional learning networks hold the most weight for us in our professional practice. To collaborate with other educators the top tools are Google Docs, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Edmodo, and PBWorks.
The above information is only a portion of the AASL Executive Summary report prepared by Sung Un Kim and Andre Taylor, members of the AASL Research and Statistics Committee. The full summary is linked to this blog post and makes for very enlightening reading into the collaborative habits of school librarians as well as the motivation behind our work such as Common Core State Standards and Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. Knowing this information about ourselves is important because so many school librarians are working individually in their own spaces. They feel as though they are running a school library program alone. It is good to know that there is a network of librarians ready and willing to work with you to help your library and you no matter where you are.
Professional reading gives all of us in the field the opportunity to share our experiences and learn from others. Social media lets us share, almost immediately, what we are doing and glean from the professional practices of our peers. Between blogs, tweets, Facebook statuses, Pinterest boards, and Reddit conversations, there is more going on than any one of us can keep up with. Online courses, webinars, e-courses, classes, and even MOOCs give school librarians the chance to grow in the latest information being offered. If you are willing to reach out and learn there are those willing to equally reach out and share. You are never truly alone in your space. That is why knowing about these avenues, information and online tools is so important. There is so much available that we can become overwhelmed about what we can really handle. As individuals we should choose what works for us and what we can incorporate into our daily lives. When considering all of the tools and information available, be sure to consider using executive summaries such as this one as they present synthesized information in a meaningful way.