Each month, I write an article for Seisen families in our school newsletter but the number of parents visiting the library has decreased over the last years.
I created a presentation for them.
The library should be a place of connection and interaction where parents:
– get an idea of their kid’s life at school
– connect with their kids by reading the same books and magazines
– get advices and information about parenting
– get magazines and books for their own recreational reading for free
– participate in the school life and volunteer
– understand how to use online tools from the library to help their kids use them
Recently, I attended a workshop by Doug Johnson, a librarian and consultant on school libraries and technology issues.
“You can’t be a professionally competent librarian, even if your area of expertise is literature, if you can’t use technology tools in your work.”
“- Open budgets: Put your budget in an online spreadsheet that is available for anyone to read – teachers, administrators, parents and the community.
– Open calendars: Put every library calendar online and share it.
– Open goals: You long-term goals and annual short term objectives should be available on-line with a means for your stakeholders to comment and discuss them.
– Open statistics: Don’t wait until the end of the year to file an “annual report.” Keep a running list of total numbers of items circulated, students using the library, classes you’ve taught, and other things that “count.” Make the numbers public – right on your library home page.
– Open doors: Take every opportunity to have parents, administrators and teachers come into your library both during school hours and outside school hours.
– Open opinions: People ought to know where you stand. If you think both kids and adults should have access to a divergent set of opinions about issues, say so. If you see that teachers and students are not taking advantage of fair use guidelines, say so. If you believe student reading test scores will improve if they are given more opportunities to read voluntarily materials of their own choice, share the research.”
Doug Johnson also suggests to have a readers’ advisory group that includes students and parents to discuss about goals, acquisitions, policies and events.
I have to admit that I worked a lot to improve our presence online and collaboration with teachers, but I still have a lot to do to build a good relationship with parents.
My first step will be to include this slideshow to my “Back To School” newsletter article and embed it into our web site.
I will also try to plan an orientation session for parents about the library and technology issues.