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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Good bosses

Doug Johnson wrote a post on "What Makes a Good Boss?" (December 20, 2008) As many of you know Nashville schools have a new director of schools coming. I’m excited. Why? Is it that I expect him to magically recognize we have great school libraries and to increase our percentage of the funding portion? Is it that I expect him to wave the magic wand and make all the problems we’ve had with student achievement disappear? Is it that I expect him to increase my budget back to previous levels when we were actually able to implement effective support of curricula?

Nah. None of those reasons.  I am excited because I like change. I like being given the opportunity to share our message with new administrators. Never do I take for granted the position school libraries hold in our organization. We cannot afford complacency. With the change of administration comes hope. Maybe I’ll be successful as a building level advocate this time. Maybe a newcomer to the district will be able to look objectively at the data and recognize our greatness. Maybe we can do a presentation for him and the school board. It’s been several years since we did and those presentations do a great deal for the publics’ positive perception of us.

I’m an optimist. I expect good things to come from new administrators because I am willing to actively do my part in sharing our message. I hope to have one face-to-face meeting where I’m able to shake his hand and say, "I cannot wait to share with you how exciting the school library program at my building and in the district is. Come see what the students are doing and how they feel." 

We’ll be installing a brand new sign on a main road since visitors to our school keep driving by and missing us. We’ll have electronic messages flashing for parents. AND…. we’ll have a big ceremony to install it. I expect to see our new director then. Want to take any bets on whether I’ve already begun creating messages about literacy to go on the board and to share personally? 

I hate driving by schools and seeing only sports messages. Aren’t we doing anything exciting with books and technology?  I’m not letting you get by with just an announcement of the bookfair. Have you advertised your book clubs? Your podcast groups? Your writer’s groups? What about the One Book program? I just received word that we received the Picturing America grant. (Picturing America award materials include forty images mounted on twenty double-sided, laminated posters for display and classroom use and a teachers resource book.) You can bet we’ll be publicizing this. Get any new books this year? What would happen if you advertised "new books available in the library?"

Administrators make decisions based upon the information they have – even if what they think they know if flawed, incomplete, or out-dated. As a building level school librarian, it is my job to be communicating what’s happening with my students, parents, faculty, administration, and the community in which we live. Can’t wait to get started. I’ll keep you up-to-date.