Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers

Abilock, Debbie, Kristin Fontichiaro, and Violet H. Harada, eds. Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2012. 
ISBN: 978-1-61069-041-6

Publisher's Description
When librarians work as professional developers, they can build relationships and develop deeper capacity within individual teachers, who can then share that increased expertise with their students. Professional development offers a nimble, scalable, and more efficient way to bring library instruction to every student.

Presenting examples of school librarians leading professional learning in numerous contexts and for diverse learning goals with remarkable success, this book will inspire other practitioners to initiate and refine professional learning in their schools and districts.

School administrators are recognizing that school librarians are ideal to lead professional development because they service the entire school network, from the students and faculty to families and the community. As a national downturn in educational funding is diminishing districts' ability to optimally staff libraries, investing energy in professional development is a sound strategy to bring information literacy skills to every student—especially in buildings with part-time librarians, or districts with only a single librarian of record.

Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers stands apart from other works as the first book that directly addresses the potential role of the school librarian as a staff developer. Within the chapters, the authors relate their professional development journeys, collectively representing experience within K–12 public and private institutions, district and regional units, and universities across the United States and Canada. The work provides various approaches to professional development with a range of processes and techniques that have been proven effective in different contexts and in achieving diverse learning goals. Practitioners at the building and district levels as well as school principals, state and district personnel, and library educators will find this book insightful and instructive.

  • Reviews the research on effective professional development
  • Demonstrates the school-wide benefits of librarians as professional learning leaders
  • Examines adult learning needs and contexts and the skills needed to become an effective staff developer within a school
  • Describes step-by-step how librarians can grow school-wide learning communities
  • Presents honest appraisals of both missteps and successes in online and face-to-face initiatives
  • Provides multiple perspectives and possibilities for librarians as professional developers
  • Concludes with a "baby step" plan for a school librarian's first professional development lesson
Sample Topics
  • Digital Collaboration and Communication Tools
  • Discussion Groups
  • Lesson Study
  • Online Learning Modules
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Professional Learning Networks
  • Redefining One-Shot Workshops
  • Restructuring Staff Meetings
  • Self-Paced Learning
  • Webinars