#Goals

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As we all return from our various summer activities [reading, resting, eating and playing in my case], we open our libraries and consider all the thought clouds bursting with ideas. We make lists. We make calls. We pause to consider our Goals.

How do you winnow this year’s Goals from the long list of Things I Want to Accomplish?

No small potatoes. Every year, I create a list of the Things I Want To Accomplish. Part of this year’s reads like this:

Opening 2019-2020

  • Review Goals from last year
  • Place initial book order
  • Meet with teachers
  • Assess FLISL Network business
  • Review inventory notes
  • Test LibGuide links
  • Continued expansion of research skills and share with colleagues
  • Check mailbox
  • Clean
  • Moon Landing anniversary?
  • Collaborate!

Et cetera…

Most of this is the easy stuff that I can “check off” and feel like I have total control over. Cleaning? Done. LibGuide links? Done. Continued expansion of research skills? Wait. That one…is a constant in my world. Among a few others on my list. Could this be the germination of a Goal for this year?

How do I winnow the Goals from all of my Things I Want To Accomplish? I decide to start with a review of my goals from last year: (And I notice a pattern.)

Taken from my notebook. Not pictured is page 2 which states “Collaborate” with a few jots.

I first listed my areas of growth for inspiration (these usually are similar year over year, because, really, when do I expect to ever truly perfect “communication” or “reading enthusiasm”?). Then, in prepping my goals I looked at the year ahead of me: I recalled we had a Global Studies initiative that I wanted to support with new literature and nonfiction. Goal #1! I won a grant last year that allowed me to attend PD at Stanford for designing an plan for implementing a makerspace at our school. This was a pretty simple goal to state as I had done a great deal of the work in my application. Goal #2! Collaborating with teachers is really always on my list, but more specifically it related to my work with makerspace implementation. Goal #3! Upon reviewing my goals from last year, I feel met these. (Measuring “met” is another post.)

So what does this year look like?

Where is my inspiration coming from today?

I did a lot of reading last year and this summer around empathy and building compassion via stories. Lower School is rich ground for this type of work. Our students deserve action from us constantly around ways to develop identity, understand the world, and appreciate all the people in it. One of my Goals will likely stem from this.

I also want to expand on the research skills of my Lower School students from collaborative and foundational work I did last year. But narrowing it to language that can fit into a Goal? This is something I will continue to consider until my Head’s deadline next month.

Goals are an expression of our interest in growth, excellence, and trying new ideas. Mine seem to come from a thread of last year and a dream of the coming one — with a dash of clear language to help me meet them.

How do you winnow your Goals from your Things You Want to Accomplish?

Presenting: Librarians!

May is likely the last month in which you’ll be thinking about presenting at a conference. Inventory! Summer Reading! Eking out last bit of library energy! But it is a great time to begin your research for a professional opportunity to share your expertise.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. What size conference am I most comfortable right now in my career?
  2. Geographically, what makes best sense?
  3. Is this a good year for me to consider presenting? Why or why not?
  4. Do I need a partner for some or all of this endeavor?

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL ORGANIZATION LEVEL

Independent school organizations around the country sponsor conferences where our expertise would be greatly valued. A few examples shared from AISL members:

Maryland and DC Independent Schools AIMS

Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, HAIS

Independent Schools of the Central States, ISACS

STATE LEVEL

A great place to start for a wider audience is at your STATE SCHOOL LIBRARY ASSOCIATION. State conferences are to home and also offer several types of presentation opportunities. Two examples AISL members shared with me are:

TEXAS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION 2020 CONFERENCE

NEW YORK LIBRARY ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE INFO

NATIONAL LEVEL

Perhaps you’ve developed some cool reading programming, or revamped your school’s One Book, One School program, or collaborated on a science research unit? Here are two examples of places to share collaborative library experiences:

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NSTA National Science Teachers Association

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES

Perhaps a webinar is more your style. You can create a proposal to offer an online learning session or recorded webinar:

Library Juice

EdWeb website EdWeb submission form

School Library Connection Webinars

Is technology your specialty? Perhaps you’ve developed programming, or taken your library to the next level. Share your expertise at a similar organization to AISL called ATLIS:

ATLIS, Association of Technology Leaders in Independent Schools

ISTE, International Society of Technology in Education

And here are a handful of other great venues for presenting that AISL members shared with me:

Lausanne Movement

Schools of the Future Conference

Library 2.0 Webinar Series

Library 2.0 Mini Conferences

AISL has many resources to support your endeavors from helping narrow down a conference possibility to working with you to edit your proposal.

We know it, let’s share it!

Please leave any other suggestions in the comment area.

PRESENTING: LIBRARIANS!

The Publication Group
Debbie Abilock: dabilock@gmail.com
Tasha Bergson-Michelson: tbergsonmichelson@castilleja.org
Dorcas Hand: handd51@tekkmail.com
Christina Karvounis: KarvounisC@Bolles.org
Sara Kelley-Mudie: sara.kelleymudie@gmail.com
Cathy Leverkus: cathyl@thewillows.org
Darla Magana: Darla.Magana@smes.org
Nora Murphy: NMurphy@fsha.org

A pledge

 

I am fortunate to be heading to #aisl2018 in Atlanta in a few weeks and as I age become more experienced, I’ve learned to apply greater intention to my professional development. I find it easy to become overwhelmed with all that’s possible, and so aim to be more effective and efficient by setting some goals:

  • As in the past, I’ll focus on bringing 3 action items back for short-term implementation (any more and the whole list gets swamped by daily responsibilities; I’ll review longer term possibilities over the summer)
  • I’ll try a new format for my conference report (in the past, I’ve used Animoto and Canva – always good for me to learn something new)
  • I’ll work on balancing time with long-time colleagues (can’t wait to catch up with my roomie!) and connecting with new librarians

This last one is important. I’ve benefitted enormously from the wisdom and guidance of others, and it’s time to pay it forward. While sometimes in denial about the years flying by, I’ve been around for a while and there’s a new and exciting generation with whom I need to connect. As accountability it the key to whatever success I’ve found (clear to those of you who follow my @bookremarks Instagram account), I’m pledging here to sit on the bus with someone new throughout the conference. And I’ll report back on this at end of April.

Making the case for PD

Add me to the list of those fortunate to have attended #AISLNOLA. But what about those of you who weren’t there? Not because of choice, but because of difficulty convincing your supervisor to invest in this PD opportunity? Here are some tips on making your case for future PD:

Start small  – there can be amazing inspiration in your local or neighbouring communities. Visit some local school libraries, set up a meeting with an academic librarian at a university within a day’s drive, ask public library staff if you could sit in on related PD, host an informal workshop (book talks, display ideas, discussion about a current issue) and invite any or all librarians in your area. Look for online webinars, and if possible, participate with a buddy so that you can discuss and plan afterwards. Laying this foundation could show your supervisor how much you’re invested in PD.

Plan ahead – review notes from previous conference sessions  to create a ‘big-picture’ of how relevant and valuable it has proven to be for many in the past. This prep work will also help you pull together a proposal in advance so that you’re prepared for registration (as some with limited numbers, eg. AISL, fill up very quickly!). Plant the seed well in advance (share details of the opportunity, note upcoming date, give heads-up you’ll be making a proposal).

Be budget conscious – be creative in coming up with a plan that shows you are keeping an eye on costs (share a room – post on listserv if you aren’t aware of anyone needing a roommate, choose less expensive flights, stick within school-set expenses for meals or offer to cover some yourself if you can).

Make your dedication evident – visiting libraries when travelling for pleasure, or scheduling PD during breaks to eliminate the need for coverage (if that’s an issue) shows your passion and commitment.

Ask for help – many of us have shared our reports/photos/experiences with colleagues & administrators at other schools, in the hope that their librarians will be giving a chance to take part.

Always follow up – tying all PD experiences to action items, demonstrating the direct impact on your library program and services, shows the return on the investment.

Hoping to see you at a future conference,

Shelagh