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Top 10 items a NEW teacher-librarian needs to know about this topic.


1. Do NOT think you have to accomplish everything in one year. Pick the most important one for you and your library and work on it. It could be strategic planning - long term goals, it could be a new scheduling system. Then, add more when you feel you can.

2. Before you start, do a search on Google. Many libraries place their mission statements, policy statements, collaborative units, evaluation documents, etc. on the internet. Use them! (be sure to give credit)

3. Visit the Resources page. There are many fabulous, informative books that will be incredibly helpful. Here is another Resources website for School Librarians. A plethora of Library Media Center Management manuals, books, handbooks, guidelines, ideas, promotions, etc. What makes this site valuable is that it is real life examples.

4. You do not have to struggle in the job. Join the local teacher-librarian provincial association. They often have listserves and can help you out. (Same with LM_NET - a discussion group for school library media specialists worldwide - to ask for input, share ideas and information, link programs, make contacts, etc)

5. Start your Professional Learning Network as soon as possible by joining the following two Nings:
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· Become a member of the Canadian 21st Century Teacher-Librarians ning. It's purpose: Connecting Canadian Teacher-Librarians.
· Become a member of the TeacherLibrian Ning organized by Joyce Valenza. It's an amazing place to share resources, read interesting and informative blogs, converse about ideas in the discussion forum, and keep updated on relevant events taking place.

6. You do NOT have to reinvent rubrics and checklists to help you evaluate your library program. There are many available to assist you initially. As you develop and evaluate your library program from year to year, you can tailor the rubrics and checklists to meet your needs.

· A 13 Point Library Media Checklist
· Assessing Learning: The Missing Piece in Instruction?
· Teacher Created Rubrics for Assessment
· Model School Rubrics

7. Four important Leadership roles that the Teacher-Librarian should fulfill: 1) Collaboration through cooperative planning and teaching with staff; 2) Meeting regularly with administration and offering in-service and professional development for staff; 3) Serving on school advisory and curriclum committees; and, 4) Implementing Teacher-Librarian role as Instructional Leader. Further discussion and detailed leadership roles can be found on the Leadership page.


8. Every librarian should have a policies handbook that outlines all the important aspects of the school library program. Here is a concise article that clearly outlines all the important documents that every TL should develop to smoothly manage the library program:

9. Flexible scheduling is generally considered to be the best for student learning. Practically, however, many teachers are either tethered to a fixed schedule, or they find a mixed schedule in some form between fixed and flexible to be best suited to their school situation. It is key, however, that all students and teachers are able to access the library services regardless of a library's scheduling situation. Our scheduling page provides discussion, examples, and resources for various scheduling requirements.

10. Set up a Del.icio.us or Diigo account for social bookmarking. This will help to improve collaboration with colleagues, sharing of resources and keep you organized. As Will Richardson comments in School Library Journal it better “enables us to share our treasure with others”.



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