Thursday, January 24, 2013

Simply Indispensable

Gilmore-See, Janice. Simply Indispensable: An Action Guide for School Librarians. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2010.
ISBN: 978-1-59158-799-6

Publisher's Description
A structured approach to advocacy for K-12 school librarians focuses their energy on an active path that showcases library programs and resources and expresses the essential role librarians serve in school and student success.

Across the United States, school librarians are faced with cut-backs. Some librarians are asked to manage libraries in two or more buildings. Others are asked to teach classes in which they hold certification or are even placed in classrooms full-time. How can you position yourself and your library as indispensable—before cuts are announced?

Keeping a library program vital requires regular reflection about current practices and a willingness to implement changes that will position the library and library staff should they be threatened with elimination. Simply Indispensable: An Action Guide for School Librarians helps librarians do just that. The book begins with an explanation of the need to act and then offers a systematic approach to taking action. Each chapter is devoted to an active path: attracting patrons; interacting with teachers, parents, administrators, and the community; communicating; reacting to "situations;" working for reinstatement if the worst happens, and more.

The book covers advocacy—from the subtle exercise of developing excellent programs to the overt outreach of Legi-Days. Additionally, there is specific information about what to do when the RIF notice or pink slip arrives or if cuts are made, including how to properly close a library. After putting these actions into effect, school librarians will have a cadre of supporters ready to speak for them should the need arise.

• Ideas and templates to help librarians systematically bring library programs into the stakeholder's field of vision
• Quizzes to reinforce suggested actions

• Helps school librarians raise awareness so decision-makers will have a clear vision of the essential nature of the school librarian's role and how it is key to the success of the school as a whole
• Enables school librarians to follow a deliberate plan of action to effectively communicate their value and empower others to speak on behalf of the library
• Gives school librarians an exhaustive list of creative ways to get out of the library and increase their profiles
• Challenges teacher librarians to seriously examine their philosophies and evaluate all aspects of the library program, including the pros and cons of expanding the range of services they offer