Sent to LM_Net. Reposted here with permission of the author. - Doug
... I get the impression that most school library media centers are understaffed and as a result their services shrink. Like a locomotive, the library media center facility can and should be a driving force within the school.
Here are some suggestions on how to increase staff:
1. Strive to make the high school library media center the true hub and center of the school by:
a) move the Xerox machine into your domain
b) provide a comfortable facility exclusively for faculty ( an interdepartmental area with a coffee machine, computers and a large table)
c) Increase the noise level tolerance a little and make the library as welcoming as possible to all
2. Make the library media center the "center of all media" both in the area of impression (books, magazines, etc) and expression (media production - PowerPoint, video editing)
3. Establish a center of the center - that is to say, within your library media center at its center, create a stage or platform that is well lit and has convenient amplification and make it available for more special programs (music, author visits, celebrations, etc)
4. NEVER allow your library to be reduced to a computer lab. That is the doom of any real library media center. The main floor should never have fixed immovable computers - rather a central seating area.
5. Keep the stacks arranged so that there is one main central seating area
6. Provide "live" opportunities for students to keep up on the current news, preferably from an international perspective from a television source like BBC - avoid the glib and commercialized channels
7. Find ways to become an integral arm of school administration - work closely with them.
8. If we consider ourselves just librarians, we are doomed - we are library media specialists and we need to provide a FULL spectrum of library media center services to the school - that includes providing
information, keeping an updated and interesting web site, include all media and communication forms under one room, and extend your reach through broadcast
9. Keep excellent relations with the home school associations
10. Provide special opportunities for all students
11. Never shrink your services, rather always try to increase them
David Di Gregorio
ddigregorio (a) tenafly.k12.nj.us <http://www.librarymedia.net/>
Supervisor Library Media Services
Tenafly (NJ) High School's Lalor Library Media Center
Very practical suggestions from a practicing media specialist. And of course, I would add, put in a coffee shop for students. Thanks, David, for sharing this with the Blue Skunk Readers. - Doug