Collaboration Begins with Small Steps: with Liz Deskins

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Liz Deskins. She’s had over 30 years working in a variety of library settings. She currently teaches library science students at Kent State University in Ohio. Click here to listen now!

Here are some librarian thoughts Liz shared:

  • The pandemic showcased the librarians' strengths as they walked alongside the teachers supporting what they were doing. Librarians were so creative during the pandemic to step in and make things work.

  • She believes the virtual side of education will continue to grow, especially in the area of professional development.

  • Keep your websites up to date because your students and teachers expect to be able to access information anytime.

  • Make your library a safe risk-taking location where students can try things out.


Liz has a lot to share about collaboration.

  • Collaboration is the key to everything. The more helping hands you can have, the better it will be.

  • She is passionate about collaboration, which, in order to succeed, must be preceded by conversation/communication.

  • Planning sessions are the best way to start the collaboration process.

  • Listen to teachers’ work conversation to see what they are teaching. Offer small collaboration steps at first - like offering a book. Don’t overwhelm them by offering a 6 week collaborative unit.

  • Invite yourself to grade level meetings when they are planning. You can offer your ideas to the group and suggest small steps you can do with the students.

  • Follow through on what you say you will do.

  • Make a special place in your library to make teachers feel welcome like a filled candy jar, a Keurig, etc.

  • Liz recommends her friend Maureen Schlosser’s book Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades (AASL Standards–Based Learning Series)


Liz has published a couple of books with ALA.


You can connect with Liz Deskins at: