Washington State Teacher-Librarians are gathering together in Renton, Washington this summer for the annual Librarian Summit hosted by Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD). As co-organizer of the event, it is important to create a learning day that is relevant and invigorating, with many take-aways to start the year. It is also important to fulfill the mission of Future Ready librarians.
Unleashing the instructional leadership of librarians to foster Future Ready schools
Laws, Leaders, & Literacy
Marianne Costello, Chair of Washington Library Association’s School Library Division and I brainstormed big ideas that were coming out of Washington State. The state legislature recently passed Senate Bill 5449 which directs districts to survey schools on how digital citizenship and media literacy is taught. The expectation is that librarians and other leaders will gather together best practices to create a website of resources educators, more specifically, librarians, from around the state, can use to educate students regarding digital citizenship and online safety. It was a priority for us to inform librarians ways they can be leaders as the new law is implemented. We reached out to Mark Ray, Director of Innovation & Library Services for Vancouver Public Schools and 2012 Washington State Teacher of the Year, asking him if he could be the opening speaker regarding this new law. Luckily he was available and agreed!
All good library conferences must include great literature. The foundation of libraries is built on curating a collection that is accessible, relevant, and can ignite students’ interest in reading and learning. Michael Fleming, a middle school librarian, serving on American Library Association’s, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) book awards committee, is presenting best new books for secondary libraries. Dynamic presenter, elementary teacher librarian, Melissa Benner, is educating attendees on the nominees for all the elementary state award books. The goal for her presentation is to build knowledge and excitement around the 2 newer awards–Towner (non-fiction text) and OTTER (transitional readers).
Standards, STEM, & Shannon
Washington State recently adopted new Computer Science Standards. The librarians’ position as digital leaders in schools necessitates them becoming familiar with the standards. Librarians may not solely teach the standards but they can facilitate teachers integrating standards across the curriculum.
Another exciting session Marianne and I are leading is building excitement around STEM. Last year’s librarian summit centered around libraries as Makerspaces which included many Maker activities. This year we’re excited to partner quality literature with a STEM focus that can leapfrog into Maker or STEM learning. Practically speaking, STEM clock hours will be offered to librarians who are expected to earn 15 STEM clock hours every 5 years. Offering these clock hours is an additional incentive to attend. Plus, it should prove to be hands-on and exciting!
Finally–Marianne and I dreamed big. Who could help us Launch Libraries Forward but none other than Future Ready National Spokesperson, Shannon McClintock Miller. With support from her sponsors, Follett and Capstone Publishing, Shannon will be in-house as our keynote speaker, sharing how librarians can utilize digital tools to support personalized creative, innovative, learning in the library. She will surely energize librarians to be instructional leaders in Future Ready schools!
With a full agenda, we are ready to Launch Libraries Forward!