The growing role of technology in education is opening a door for school librarians to play a larger role in schools' digital transformations, Stephen Joel, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska, and Mary Reiman, the district's director of Library Media Services, recently wrote an opinion piece for District Administration titled, Tech Project Changed How We View Our Librarians.
The article discusses Lincoln's Project Connect, an initiative centered on uniting the library, classroom, and administration through the use of technology. The district is in the midst of a $55 million 'digital transformation', and Joel and Reiman put librarians and media specialists at the center of the district's success—describing them as 'vehicles of change' and pushing for school leaders to acknowledge and utilize their expertise.
Our librarians are at the table and on committees helping us plan and implement. They are instructional leaders aligning the curriculum with subscription and open-source digital content. The librarians are showing our teachers, students, and parents how to access these curated resources.The changes take time and require everyone to be “all in.” Superintendents, principals and district leaders have to mobilize librarians as vehicles for change.
It's become clear to not only Lincoln Public, but numerous other districts that the role of the librarian/media specialist has evolved. In fact, in a previous post focused on Working with Media Specialists on CCSS, we quoted the American Association of School Librarians:
School librarians are uniquely positioned to influence and implement many of the school-wide goals and initiatives to ensure that all students are college and career ready, because they work across grade levels and across the disciplines.
At Atomic Learning, we too realize the important role librarians and others can play in digital transformations and district-wide success. To help you work with your district's team, we've highlighted resources of interest to individual groups, including librarians and media specialists, at www.AtomicLearning.com/k12/success.