Advocacy for Teacher Librarians

Talley, Crystal



Freeman, Joanna. “Beyond the Stacks: How Librarians Support Students and Schools.” American Educator 38, no. 4 (2014): 32-36.


Joanna Freeman describes her experiences in becoming a teacher librarian from a school librarian to advocate the importance of this role in education at a time in which school librarian positions are being cut from many school districts.


Freeman brings up many fantastic points in her article regarding the importance of keeping a trained librarian in elementary and secondary schools. She maintains that while the idea of a school library has changed over time due to technology changes, the focus of what a school librarian provides hasn’t changed at all. School librarians provide and assist both students and staff with “curriculum support, teaching research, technology skills, literature appreciation, information literacy, and internet awareness” (p. 33). Through her partnerships and collaboration with classroom teachers, she has changed the way she plans and orders materials to better supplement the school curriculum, participates in lesson plans and teaching, and has made the library the hub of her school. This article was quite inspiring for those that are trying to make their position as a school librarian indispensable.

Mining Data

Harman, Sheila
Zeide, E. (2016). 19 Times Data Analysis Empowered Students and Schools: Which Students Succeed and Why?.
Schools have always held a wide range of data about our children and families: Name, address, names of parents or guardians, date of birth, grades, attendance, disciplinary records, eligibility for lunch programs, special needs and the like are all necessary for basic administration and instruction. Teachers and school officials use this information for lots of reasons, including to assess how well students are progressing. This article makes the case that this data, and all the info generated is super useful. She notes that the tools are at our fingertips and it is up to us to use the info to guide our most needy students. and monitor educator biases. Online tools give students access to vast libraries of resources and allow them to collaborate with classmates or even peers around the world. Some of these online tools also give teachers and parents the ability to access and evaluate student work.

Rating:  This is a clearly written review of some powerful, albeit private, data that is used for the improving student performance. She shows graphs and examples

Connecting Community Groups at the Library

Aubree Burkholder

Jarecki, K. (2016, October). Connecting Community Groups at the Library. Retrieved from
The library’s reach isn’t limited to just its walls. The library’s reach should extend to the whole community, and often times librarians can have a difficult time trying to find ways to connect with their surrounding communities.  This article gave great advice and real life examples of how libraries can organize programming and connect with community members and groups.

I enjoyed this article because I feel that the number one jobs of public libraries should be to make connections to the community that it serves. 

Finding Your Purpose!

This article is geared towards public libraries, but its principals can be applied to school libraries as well. Find your purpose (different than a mission statement) and use it to make your library incredibly relevant to your community in this time of Amazon, Google, and Netflix.

Huber, J & Potter, S. (2016). The purpose-based library: finding your path to survival, success, and growth. Retrieved from:

The Power of (in) the (Im)possible

Great article that has influenced my thinking around collaboration and co-teaching, and has especially helped me re-think my perception of myself as a Teacher Librarian–a vital part of a learning community.

Todd, R. (2013). The power of (in) the (Im)possible. Teacher Librarian, (41)2.

Taking Your First Job: Where the Rubber Meets the Road and Starting Off: Where Not to Begin

Brandt, Alisa

Akers, A. (2016, July 14). Taking your First job: Where the rubber meets the
    road [Blog post]. Retrieved from Knowledge Quest website:

Akers, A. (2016, August 10). Starting off: Where not to begin [Blog post].
    Retrieved from Knowledge Quest website:


Anne Akers wrote these two blog posts about a month apart this summer and they both offer excellent advice to library students as they land their first school library jobs.
When asked by a former student after being hired for a perfect school library job, Akers is asked where to start? Entering a new library can be overwhelming and full of many projects from weeding to hanging up posters. Aker suggests not making any dramatic changes right away until you have the lay of the land. She recommends starting with small, easily accomplished tasks that give a sense of accomplishment. She also suggests setting the tone and vision of the library by posting the mission statement at the Standards for 21st Century Learners in prominent places in the library. All of her suggestions start with people and relationships.
In her follow up blog post, Aker explains further why she said to NOT start with the collection but instead to prioritize relationships. She says that to start those critical early days establishing yourself by focusing on the collection reinforces a certain stereotype (guardians of books) and does not build relationships. Schools need librarians who will be teachers and part of what takes place in the classrooms.

Evaluation: These two posts are so important for establishing how teacher librarians are perceived at what we can all do to change the stereotypes of libraries and librarians of yore. It means having a vision and confidently displaying it through the library environment and the actions of the librarian. I believe this is useful for librarians starting their first job and seasoned librarians who have been working in the same school for decades. Visions should adapt and while it takes a while to undo old visions, it is nevertheless an important task to take.

Ten Things Your Administrator Needs to Know as the School Year Begins

Brandt, Alisa

Ten Things Your Administrator Needs to Know as the School Year Begins


Church, A. (2016, August). Ten things your administrator needs to know as the
    school year begins [Blog post]. Retrieved from Knowledge Quest website:

Church lists all the ways that Teacher Librarians are catalysts for deeper student learning and teacher collaboration. The article could serve as a pocket-sized (or email) advocacy tool by describing all the roles that TL take on from teaching literacies and ethical use of information to being an inspirational instructional partner and program designer.

Evaluation: The timing of this article is excellent. As we are wrapping up this summer semester learning all about the ways that Teacher Librarians can contribute to the success of our students and the strengthening of our programs and the new school year beginning soon, this piece is inspirational. We know the value of our skills and contributions as well as some of our classroom teacher friends and a few of us are lucky enough to have administrators who champion our cause as well but it is always good to have a reminder of what we do and why we are important to our school community. Personally, I find having an example of what to say when asked about what we do is helpful and this article gives a little boost of confidence as I enter another school year.

TED Talks Education

Karen Rogers


TED. (2013, May 11). TED Talks Education. Retrieved July 13, 2016, from

Summary:  This video has a plethora of educators, Bill Gates, psychologists, and students who talk about educational theory, new ways of looking at curriculum and assessment, and how to improve our teaching.  The speakers talk about the importance of relationships, inquiry, perseverance, how to motivate students, and ways to help teachers improve.

Review:  The video is incredibly empowering and inspiring.  It encourages teachers to change their traditional mindset and take some risks in education.  It talks about the problems faced in education and ways to improve them.  It talks about the importance of building up student confidence and passion for knowledge being even more important than talent.  I think it is something all people in education should watch before starting the school year.

New Year’s Resolution: Teach More, Librarian Less.

Litzinger, Vicki


Ray, Mark.  (2012) New Year’s Resolution: Teach More. Librarian Less. Teacher Librarian,  39(3), 52 – 53.


Mark Ray, as the 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year, urges us to teach more, to be visible in our schools, and to point out to others when we’ve had a class of excellent teaching. He briefly discusses two other teacher-librarians in Washington State who are making a difference in their schools with an emphasis on being teachers and educational leaders in their schools. He points out that they do this by being active on educational committees and workgroups, working closely with their administrations and colleagues or by becoming specialists in a particular kind of teaching and learning style. They are “leading by example, effectively advocating for teacher librarians and school library programs by focusing on great teaching” (52) The authors final points are about emphasizing our excellent instruction and willingness to learn from our colleagues so that our students benefit.


We love libraries and librarians, and that is a major reason that most of us when into this profession. And now we are expected to teach, and we see our teaching responsibilities as equal to or secondary to our librarian roles. Ray is telling us to change our thinking and completely refocus on being teachers first! The author details several concrete examples of how to do that from being very visible in our schools, actively participating on educational teams,  and to seeking out colleagues with whom to share and learn from. It’s all about advocacy for ourselves, our programs, and our students.

Where to start? Creating virtual library spaces.

Litzinger, Vicki.

Buerkett, Rebecca. (2014). Where to start? Creating virtual library spaces. Knowledge Quest, 42(4), E23-E27.


As we rethink and change our physical library spaces, the author points out that we cannot forget about our virtual spaces as well, “…creating a virtual library space should be a priority.” (E23) Buerkett walks us through the important steps of this process: choosing a platform, deciding on resources to include on the site, assessing the site, and tweaking, constantly. She also reminds to include a blog or news feed, pictures of students, widgets such as Shelfari or Flickr, and to certainly consider appeal and functionality. The author includes useful examples of websites to visit for ideas.

This article was concise and provided me with valuable information as I rethink my library’s presence online, and why I need to revise my website. I appreciated the reminder that a thoughtful and useful web presence is a valuable advocacy tool, and that it might be first place to start when rethinking and revisioning my library program.