June 22, 2019
Dear Dr. Laura,
I’m wondering what you mean by Librarian Influencer. I thought Influencers were mostly in the fashion and beauty industries.
Hello, Wondering Librarian!
I’m so glad you asked! On the About page of my website I say, “Influencers are people who are recognized in their field for their knowledge and expertise on a particular topic.” I go on to describe two kinds of Librarian Influencers.
Type 1: As a school librarian you have the opportunity to have a huge impact on your campus. Your circle of influence is the community you come in contact with which is mostly your students, their families, and the educators you support. If you’re wondering what that looks like you can find some research online that supports the idea that school librarians impact student achievement and a variety of other things like school culture.
Scholastic’s latest research is called School Libraries Work. http://www.scholastic.com/slw2016/ Check out their link to see how “school libraries and school librarians are a powerful force in the lives of America's children.”
A name you should be familiar with is Keith Curry Lance. I consider him the guru for school library research. In a 2018 article Lance and Kachel state, “...the benefits associated with good library programs are strongest for the most vulnerable and at-risk learners, including students of color, low-income students, and students with disabilities.” https://www.kappanonline.org/lance-kachel-school-librarians-matter-years-research/
AASL has a statement that “Strong School Libraries Build Strong Students” and backs it up with research. http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/aaslissues/advocacy/AASL_infographic.pdf
Take some time to study the kinds of things where you can have the biggest impact and most influence on your campus. Make a plan to try out something new you learn.
Type 2: Another kind of Librarian Influencer is the school librarian who has become a standout out leader as a school librarian. Sometimes these Librarian Influencers are district level library coordinators/directors like Alma Salinas implemented an ABDO QR code reading partnership with her district's transportation department. Check out this video to see the great work she is doing. Other times the Librarian Influencer is the campus librarian who is stepping out and trying innovative ways to provide services to their campuses. Betsy Vela is this kind of Librarian Influencer. She was recently selected as a LEGO Educator Master Educator.
So, see! You are an influencer on your campus and you have the opportunity to become an even greater influencer in your district and beyond! Keep in touch and let me know of Librarian Influencers you want to hear from!
Librarian Influencer of the Week: Betsy Vela who is always on the move testing out new ideas in her library. Twitter Handle: @betzvela