Create an Elevator Speech You Can Recycle Many Ways

Dear Dr. Laura,


I’ve started my new job and everyone wants to know why I left teaching. How can I explain to them that I didn’t leave teaching? I’m just in the library now.


Signed,

In the Library Now


Hi, In the Library Now!


I am so excited for you as you begin your journey as a new school librarian. It is absolutely the best and most rewarding job I’ve ever had! And I’m sure you’re going to love it, too!


All right, let’s get busy thinking through how you will tell people what you do now as a librarian. They just need to catch the vision about your awesome new job! I think it will be useful to think through the parts of an elevator speech. It can kind of guide your response to your friends. Here’s a template you can download and fill in. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XOPPl_CGXtaDBEwXzNy3b-5OhGpwj3he/view?usp=sharing You’ll see a breakdown of vision, mission, core values, and tagline.


To get a better grip on the process of writing your elevator speech, let’s study the Common Beliefs of the AASL Standards. As an example, here is the first one:

1. The school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community. As a destination for on-site and virtual personalized learning, the school library is a vital connection between school and home. As the leader of this space and its functions, the school librarian ensures that the school library environment provides all members of the school community access to information and technology, connecting learning to real-world events. By providing access to an array of well-managed resources, school librarians enable academic knowledge to be linked to deep understanding.” https://standards.aasl.org/beliefs/


So what does this mean to me as a new school librarian? What does it say about my role as an educator in the library?


VISION STATEMENT- Who/What You Want to Become

Mentally you will need to begin the shift in thinking from classroom to whole school. You need to reprogram yourself to realize your new “territory” is the whole school!


So possibly your vision statement is something like this: As the librarian, it's very important to me to ensure that my school library provides all members of the school community access to information and technology that connects learning to real-world events.


MISSION STATEMENT - Who/What You Are Now

This is going to differ from your district/campus/library mission statement because we are talking about you! In this section, we drill down some more. What’s your purpose in the library that is different from when you were in a single classroom?


Still using words from Common Belief #1, maybe your mission statement is something like this: Research shows that certified librarians have an impact on their students’ academic success when they have things like a diverse and well-managed collection.


CORE VALUES - What Deep Seated Beliefs Guide You

Again, your district has some core values and you may need to fit them in here. Can you connect those core values to what you do in the library?


If not, let’s use words from Common Belief #1 again. Maybe your core value statement is something like this: So, I know I can really strengthen my students’ academic knowledge to be linked to deeper understanding.


TAGLINE - What Is the Essence of What You Do

I’m sure you’ve heard lots of commercials on TV and radio. Products tend to have a tagline to help make them memorable. So, what do you want your library to known as? I once worked in a very low income neighborhood. We considered ourselves the OASIS where there was an Opportunity for All Students to Invest in Success. We were the escape. We were the drop of refreshing water in a dry and weary world. Our families loved to hang out in the school library for after school events where they could find a little relief from the world around them.


So what about you? Will you recycle a popular phrase like: Our library is truly the heart of the school?


OK. That covers the 4 basic parts of an elevator speech. Let’s try it out. Next time someone asks you why you left teaching, say this:


I didn’t exactly leave teaching. I just teach a much larger audience now. As the librarian, it's very important to me to ensure that my school library provides all members of the school community access to information and technology that connects learning to real-world events. Research shows that certified librarians have an impact on their students’ academic success when they have things like a diverse and well-managed collection. So, I know I can really strengthen my students’ academic knowledge to be linked to deeper understanding. Our library is truly the heart of the school!”


Recycled versions:

OPEN HOUSE WITH FAMILIES

It's wonderful to see so many of you here tonight! Thank you for choosing to visit the library. As the librarian, it's very important to me to ensure that my school library provides all members of the school community access to information and technology that connects learning to real-world events. Research shows that certified librarians have an impact on their students’ academic success when they have things like a diverse and well-managed collection. So, I know I can really strengthen my students’ academic knowledge to be linked to deeper understanding. Our library is truly the heart of the school!”


SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

It's such an honor to work for a district that supports school libraries the way you do. Thank you for inviting me to share with you tonight. As the librarian, it's very important to me to ensure that my school library provides all members of the school community access to information and technology that connects learning to real-world events. Research shows that certified librarians have an impact on their students’ academic success when they have things like a diverse and well-managed collection. So, I know I can really strengthen my students’ academic knowledge to be linked to deeper understanding. Our library is truly the heart of the school!”


TV CHANNEL INTERVIEW

I'm so excited you came to celebrate the kickoff to our new reading initiative! We are so proud of everything we do here to support our students. As the librarian, it's very important to me to ensure that my school library provides all members of the school community access to information and technology that connects learning to real-world events. Research shows that certified librarians have an impact on their students’ academic success when they have things like a diverse and well-managed collection. So, I know I can really strengthen my students’ academic knowledge to be linked to deeper understanding. Our library is truly the heart of the school!”


Voila! You did it! Wordsmith yours a little bit. Practice in front of the mirror several times. And you’ll be ready!



Dr. Laura


Librarian Influencer of the Week: Amanda Galliton

You can follow Amanda at:

Twitter: @AmandaGalliton https://twitter.com/AmandaGalliton


You can find my interview with Amanda on my podcast page, your favorite podcast player, or by visiting this link http://laurasheneman.libsyn.com/relationships-are-invaluable-with-amanda-galliton.


Laura Sheneman, EdD, MLS

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