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The Many Faces of School Library Leadership

Book study of The Many Faces of School Library Leadership is all about the need of how School librarians need to provide leadership in technology, literacy, curriculum, advocacy, vision, intellectual freedom, collaborative instruction, and more. Each of these areas is equally important in ensuring a school library program that will enhance and encourage student achievement. This book offers insight and practical suggestions for such leadership through 10 essays contributed by outstanding leaders in the field of school librarianship. The book covers leadership in curriculum and instruction, literacy, technology, intellectual freedom, staff development, and other equally critical areas. It discusses the breadth and depth of the leadership school librarians must provide to move the school library program forward, secure enhanced services for students and faculty, and improve student achievement. It offers insights into the many leadership roles embraced by accomplished practitioners and considers the research surrounding these best practices. The book ends with a powerful chapter by renowned visionary      David Loertscher that is a call for change and renewal—and an inspirational reminder of the bottom-line purpose of the professional. Even when one has direct authority, command and control behavior does not produce persuasive traits. Influence must be instilled in order to shape ones behavior without resorting to positional power. For a leader to influence his juniors, the juniors must trust their leaders. Most often than not we tend to trust people with whom we feel connected. This will create a sense of shared experience with the colleagues and library users.      Organizations are not perfect and libraries being one of the organizations leadership are critical. All employees should be seen and developed as leaders. The seniors should be able to listen to junior library employees as no part of the communication process increases your influence further than listening to others in a way that leaves them feeling heard.

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Smart leaders have to reach out, compare experiences and share best practices. Without the librarians it would be impossible to run the libraries since they provide learners with various solutions to library users.  Libraries and library staff operate in complex and changing environments-facing issues around freedom of information, copyright, information access, diversity, changes in how people share and publish knowledge, and more-that require new skills and growth. Successful library leaders combine a penchant for nimble adaptability with a long%u2010 term focus on strategic planning and sustainability. These qualities must rest on a library’s commitment to people, including the public library users and the communities they serve.

Intellectual freedom can exist only where individuals have the right to hold any belief on any subject and to convey their ideas in any form they deem appropriate. It can also exist where the society makes an equal commitment to the right of unrestricted access to information and ideas regardless of the communication medium used, the content of work, and the viewpoints of both the author and the receiver of information. Without these conditions, it would be impossible to attain this intellectual freedom in the libraries that serve the public.

Libraries support the curriculum, promote literacy development and foster lifelong reading habits among students through the development of carefully selected print collections and the infusion of education technology. School librarians are professionals who hold teaching degrees and they work with students throughout the students’ academic careers. They are instructional leaders who serve on curriculum, school improvement, and planning committees.

As librarians, they often serve as primary technology integration specialists in their buildings. Librarians are increasingly likely to be working with other librarians as well as faculty who are more comfortable with ambiguity, integration, collaboration, deconstruction, uncertainty, chaos, and fluid systems. These postmodern professionals are integrators and synthesizers, focused on learning, and uncomfortable with control and rigid or inflexible boundaries. Leadership in technology libraries needs this infusion of postmodern influences to be responsive to the dynamic information needs of all persons involved.

Libraries have a tradition of being client centered and client driven, and academic libraries are often known on campus for their dedication to serving users. Libraries are often among the first organizations to adopt newer concepts in leadership and management, which often include an emphasis on staff involvement in library decisions and planning. This is an indication of organization development a. Through this there is a strong commitment to human development by staff development programs and strives to implement sound human resource programs.

For the future of libraries, authors encourage all stakeholders in the future of libraries to get off the trail, see what they can discover about improving library organizations and share discoveries widely as a way of building better libraries that prove to be meaningful to the students and the public.