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District Level Leadership for School Library Media Programs

District level leadership and coordination are necessary for the district's investment in instructional materials and technology to result in effective teaching and learning. These responsibilities require a certain amount of time and effort to fulfill properly. District level coordination should not be expected from a person with full time responsibility for providing library media services at the building level. Contracts and job descriptions should specify responsibilities and the amount of time dedicated to district library media leadership, instructional program development, management of services, and coordination between school library media programs and each library media specialist and the collaboration between the library media specialist and the content curriculum and classroom teachers.

District leadership roles entail:

  1. Developing and implementing the district's long range plan for PK12 library media services combined with planning for the district's instructional technology program. This includes working with the District Technology Director when
     
    • setting up and guiding the PK-12 information and technology planning group;
    • reviewing and sharing research on best practices that foster high student achievement;
    • determining a clear understanding of the vision and mission of the information and technology literacy programs;
    • evaluating the programs of services and establishing a clear understanding of the current status;
    • determining goals and various supporting objectives and activities to reach these goals;
    • exploring, suggesting, and implementing improvements and change that promotes high student achievement;
    • planning and establishing new services (e.g. virtual reference resources, online professional training/courses, and online learning objects);
    • establishing a projected timeline and budget for the plan;
    • ongoing monitoring and adjustment throughout the plan implementation process; and
    • developing and administering district policies and program procedures that support the plan.

     

  2. Guiding the use of new instructional/information technologies and instruction strategies throughout the schools. This includes
     
    • determining where new technologies fit in the library media and instructional technology programs;
    • planning staff development for library media professionals and support staff, teachers, and administrators; and
    • coordinating purchase and installation of computers and related technologies (e.g. Intranet, interactive video, distance learning, electronic communication, library automation and resource sharing) as well coordinating each school library collection development of print, media, and digital resources that support the district curriculum.

     

  3. Integrating the many aspects of the information and technology literacy programs into curriculum in a consistent manner articulated PK-12 and in a way that ensures proper maturation of students as they move from grade to grade and from school to school within the district. Some of these aspects are
     
    • integrating information and technology literacy skill instruction with content learning;
    • integrating the use of printed, audiovisual and electronic resources;
    • integrating the use of computers and other electronic equipment;
    • integrating broadcast instruction from a distance and other virtual learning technologies; and
    • locating and obtaining specific information and resources to support teaching, learning, and professional development for all students and educators.

     

  4. Establishing and maintaining operations, procedures, or services that ensure efficiency for faculty and students in all the district's schools. Examples include
     
    • procedures for ordering, purchasing, cataloging, and processing library instructional materials;
    • specifications for instructional equipment and library media center furnishings; and
    • centralized operation of all or parts of such services as printing/duplicating, resource production, cataloging and processing, and efficient access to all student and professional materials.

     

  5. Developing and updating district policies that apply to all schools. Examples include
     
    • selection and reconsideration of instructional materials;
    • copyright and fair use;
    • interlibrary loan and resource sharing among schools and throughout the greater Wisconsin community;
    • adult literacy and community use of materials, equipment, and services;
    • use of the Internet and Intranet, including CIPA and Internet Safety;
    • technology use for students with special needs and
    • web page development and use.

     

  6. Establishing and maintaining communication. This includes
     
    • providing technical information about instructional media and information technology to the administration, the school board, and the public;
    • serving as spokesperson for library media staff to the district administration and school board, and a conduit between DPI, CESA, public library system, professional preparation programs, consortia, professional organizations, and other school districts; and
    • disseminating information among library media staff, plus organizing and planning regularly scheduled meetings of library media staff from all the buildings.

     

  7. Verifying and monitoring appropriate district wide use of federal, state and local funds, (e.g. the Common School Fund and No Child Left Behind: ESEA Title IID).

     

  8. Actively pursue grants and gifts that support the information and technology program and the district curriculum.

     

  9. Providing leadership for building level library media staff and faculty. Examples include
     
    • becoming aware of overall district library media staff needs;
    • organizing professional development programming and activities for the library media staff and other district educators;
    • providing awareness of new methods, procedures, and policies; and
    • initiating special projects related to the information and technology program, such as reading incentive programs and technology literacy competitions, i.e., ThinkQuest.