Harper, M., & Schwelik, J. (2013). School library challenge. Knowledge Quest, 42(1), 24-28. Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=90230623&site=ehost-live&scope=site
This peer-reviewed article discusses the importance of Library Advisory Committees (LACs), particularly to collaboration and library advocacy. Meghan Harper and Jennifer Schwelik (2013) state that “LACs are established to gather input in the design and development of the school library program” (p. 25). These groups allow the librarian to make “informed decisions” that will have a positive impact on the school community (Harper & Schwelik, 2013, p. 25). The authors essentially outline steps to implement an LAC and aspects such as member recruitment and LAC tasks.
In that vein, the article helpfully offers practical advice for creating an LAC. For example, rather than forming one large LAC, in which some voices may be lost, the authors recommend smaller groups of just one type of stakeholder, which can discuss topics that are unique to them (Harper & Schwelik, 2013, p. 26). They also offer advice regarding types of LAC representatives representing all stakeholder groups and their respective numbers. Meghan Harper and Jennifer Schwelik (2013) assert that beyond school members, “Including community partners such as the YMCA, public library, or other social-service agencies who serve the youth population in the school can help the school library identify possible connections for sharing services or resources and maximize the flow of information and communication among the school librarian and LAC members” (p. 25). For teacher librarians who are interesting in creating an LAC, this article is chalk-full of applicable advice.