“On one hand, budget and testing pressures have led to decisions to eliminate or de-professionalize school libraries. On the other hand, the increased emphasis on college and career readiness and the integration of technology have opened an unprecedented door to school librarian leadership” (Stripling 2014).
At the end of May 2014 I stepped down as the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian School Library Association after 12 years in the position. I was asked to provide a reflection on my term in office and some further thoughts for the profession.
You can access the article I wrote here – A profession at the tipping point (revisited). This was published in the Australian School Library Association journal, ACCESS, Volume 29, Issue 1, March 2015.
I’ve included the last few paragraphs from the article as I believe these are crucial to the sustainability of any professional personnel in education.
Play it forward
Keeping up to date is one of the main challenges facing any professional. The top three preferences of members of professional associations to receive information to help them stay abreast of developments in their respective profession are email, industry journals, and conferences/seminars/meetings (Survey Matters 2013, pp. 55-57). Online media options that are actively used to seek information about their profession include the associations’ website, searching Google, webinars/podcasts, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs, Twitter (Survey Matters 2013, pp. 58-59).
Many within the school library profession engage in these channels of communication. In developing the literacy skills of young people so they become productive consumers and creators of information, the professional needs to adopt a similar process; be consumers as well as contributors to the ongoing professional conversation to sustain the viability of school libraries and teacher librarianship.
With a glass half full approach, share your experience and evidence, challenges and solutions, professional learning reflections and thoughts, advocacy activities and ideas, and school library programs and services using the identified channels of communication that professionals prefer to keep up to date and stay abreast of the happenings within the education sector.[Related post: A profession at the tipping point – ASLA 2011]
Stripling, Barbara K 2014, ‘The peril and promise of school libraries’, Advocating for School Librarians, American Libraries. Viewed 23 January 2015, from http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/advocating-school-librarians
Survey Matters 2013, Associations matter: 2013 state of the sector report, Survey Matters Pty Ltd., Elwood, Vic.