The management issues covered in this course include the following: budgeting, organizing the program, evaluating library programs, and establishing policies and procedures. For this assignment, you will synthesize what you have learned and suggest solutions for one (1) of the scenarios below.
You are the new school librarian at Rainbow Elementary School, replacing a person who had been at the school for nineteen years. The full time clerk, who has been at the school for fourteen years, was a good friend of the retired school librarian. Their close collegial relationship resulted in policies and procedures that have been in operation over that time span. Additionally over the years, the school librarian and the clerk developed friendships with several teachers who, consequently, are accustomed to special privileges.
For the first several months, you have read the policies and procedures manual, developed a working rapport with the clerk, and surveyed the needs of the teachers. You also listened to teachers and students complaints/concerns about library operations and have been quietly observing the interactions of the faculty members with the clerk. Now in early November with Thanksgiving approaching, two teachers, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Petty, visit the library while you are working with a class and check out all of the books on that holiday. This morning, Mr. Vandever visited the library and requested two books on Thanksgiving to read to the class. You promptly helped him search for suitable items, but could not locate any books for him to use.
After researching the titles in the circulation system and locating the patrons who have the items checked out, you realize what has occurred and remember that a similar situation arose before Halloween. A pattern is emerging that needs to be addressed. First, the immediate problem needs to be resolved: two books need to be located for Mr. Vandever to use with his class. Second, the long term issue of equitable access to materials during periods of concentrated use needs to be addressed.
How will you resolve these issues and what will be your action plan?
You have worked as the school librarian at Niven Senior High for the past three years. Working slowly, but consistently, you have turned a little used library into a thriving, dynamic “place to be.” You have created a warm, welcoming learning environment that students and teachers use on a regular basis for locating resources of personal interest, as well as for skills instruction. You are proud of your program and receive many compliments from the faculty and students.
This year, a new administrator was assigned to your school. It is early October and Mr. Edgewater has been occupied with managing the large school and has not made time to visit the library. However, he has made a few decisions that negatively impact the library program. You realize that information about the library program has not been distributed to the administration on a comprehensive or regular basis. You recognize that there is a need for increasing awareness of the program and its value to the school. In your opinion, a broader view of the total program will result in improved appreciation of its value and, consequently, in increased support.
You admit that you have not spent much time on advocacy or public relations issues since joining the school’s faculty. At this time, however, you decide that it is time to develop a public relations/advocacy plan of action. You review the library literature and survey high school colleagues to determine what approaches will be the most effective. What in-house assets do you already have? What communications channels are currently available or could be developed? What information should be disseminated to the administration? What will be included in your action plan?
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