Thursday, August 29, 2013

Making Connections

Wow! Summer is over and it is back to school for all my library friends. To be honest, I really miss the excitement that accompanies the start of the school year. This is the first time in a really long time that I haven't prepared for back to school. I miss that energy and excitement that accompanies the start of the school year.

As your school year begins, remember that this is the best time you have to build relationships with the teachers in your school. Here are just a few tips that might help.

  • Provide goody bags in teacher mailboxes. Fill them with goodies like candy, Sharpies, fun post-its, and any other small items that they might be able to use. In addition to the fun stuff, include reminders about valuable resources. Make flyers for online databases to serve as a reminder. Put in training schedules for any professional development you might have planned in the future. 
  • Set-up fun displays that are eye-catching. I have to admit I was terrible at this. First, I hate clutter. Second, I am really not that creative. Wish I had gotten into Pinterest while I was still in the library! There are so many great ideas for displays. Having trouble coming up with display ideas? Check out this Pinterest board just for those of you who struggle with those design elements in your library. 
  • Schedule mini-workshops for teachers. Let's be honest the beginning of the year is just plain busy, and there are a lot of things to accomplish. Offer 30-45 min training sessions for teachers. Topics can be on webpage development, how to use the laminator, or an exploration of resources. Also, don't feel like you have to lead the training. Just offer work sessions. Set up a time for teachers to work on webpages or to learn a Web 2.0 tool. The goal of these work sessions is not for you to teach them but for you to be a support. Teachers are often more willing to explore or work on something if they know someone is close by to answer their questions. 
  • Give away prizes. Maybe you can talk your principal into purchasing a few gift cards. If your teachers have iPads, give away iTunes gift cards. These could be done in a drawing format, but there are alternatives as well. Use trivia to give away these prizes. Before QR codes became commonplace, I offered a prize to the teacher who could tell me what it was and what it meant. So not only did they have to tell me it was a QR code, they had to decode it as well.
Wishing you the best year yet!

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