#87 Professional Contacts

Professional Contacts

It’s easy in the school environment to get insular, and forget that you’re part of a much larger picture, and profession. Your local network may be able to help you with resources and advice, but it’s also a good idea to keep looking out at the big world and see what’s going on.

This can be done via CPD events, setting up RSS feeds on sites you find interesting, reading widely, mailing lists and newsgroups, writing for journals, or social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace.

You could also try professional social networking spaces like LinkedIn.

Keep in touch.


#3 School Librarian Networks


Networking is the life blood of any profession. Librarians, like any other professional, should aim to undertake networking activities at every possible opportunity. The advantages to the individual, and to the professional group in general, are enormous:

  • Opportunity to meet like-minded professionals, and discover what they’re working on.
  • Swap good ideas.
  • Discuss professional challenges; often, other members have already been exactly where you are now.
  • Pick up on new initiatives.
  • Receive information about training opportunities.
  • Mingle professionally with innovative people.
  • Get enthused.
  • Create new professional relationships.
  • Create new professional partnerships.
  • Meet professionals from other sectors.
  • Meet professionals from other professions; often, there is a mutual interest in seeing things from different angles.
  • Meet your colleaguees face to face.
  • Have fun!

There are obvious places to start: your local school librarian network, your national school librarian network, your professional organisation, specialist librarian groups in your area. If there is no local school librarian network in your area, why not start one? This doesn’t have to be limited geographically; you can network by blog or wiki if necessary.

The positive effects of networking can make a huge difference to a librarian’s professional career, professional relationships and enjoyment of the daily workload. It is good to talk to other librarians. It is also good to leave your own place of work from time to time, if only for a change of scenery and to get away from the office.

It also advisable to undertake training events which may not strictly be aimed at school librarians, such as events dealing with discipline, new areas of the curriculum and pedagogical techniques. Though these types of areas may traditionally be regarded as most relevant to teachers, there is much the librarian can learn, and adapt for use in a library situation.

It is both stimulating and challenging to be discussing such matters with members of the teaching profession, and there can be many beneficial outcomes: better understanding of, and respect for, another professional’s situation, a greater ability to support the teacher and the curriculum, and often a better personal relationship with teachers.

It is very difficult to support a curriculum if you don’t understand how it works, and what challenges teachers face in the classroom.



Useful Weblinks:

CILIP School Libraries Group


School Librarian’s Network