Saturday, June 18, 2016

Values and disconnects

Image from Pixabay

In the past 12 months I have had the opportunity to work with many school librarians from many different countries - Pakistan, India, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, New Zealand (and more) and it has become apparent that in many schools there is a disconnect between what the school librarians are wanting and expecting to be able to do and what the school leadership expectations are with regard to support of the library and its programs.

Much of this disconnect comes down to difference in priorities, expectations and values.

What are the priorities and values of the school librarian? 
What are the priorities and and values of the school principal?

Below is a wide range of values that may apply to school librarianship, it is not exhaustive, and I am sure it could be added to.... 

Select your top 10 values from this list and prioritise the most important to the least important for you, personally as a library professional. 
If you work with other library staff, ask them to do the same. 
Compare your lists, how close are they in the same choices and priorities? 
How does this impact on what happens in the workplace? 
How have these values developed?

Identify what you think the school and / or Principal values from your perspective.

If you have the opportunity, ask your Principal (or line manager) to do the same with these same values. Compare your list with the Principal's actual list and have a discussion with them about the differences and similarities between your values and priorities.

If nothing else, it may give you a greater insight into what the Principal values, and where you may be able to align some of your energy to work with them rather than against them.

This list may also be useful to be used in a survey across staff to see what they value in the library, and will give you an idea of where to direct some of your energy to win them over.

I have included the words below that you can copy and paste to use as you like and add your own if not included here.

Accountability   Advocacy    Collaboration   Communication     Community               Confidentiality   Creativity    Critical Thinking   Curation   Data    Democracy                     Diversity    Education    Equity    Ethics    Inclusion     Innovation   Inquiry                     Intellectual Freedom     Int’l Mindedness    Leadership     Learners     Lifelong Learning
Literacy    Preservation   Privacy    Professionalism    Provocation    Management
Order   Outreach    Reading     Relationships     Research     Responsibility    Safety
Service    Social     Systems     Teaching    The greater good    Transparency


Marjan Slaats, Shanghai said...

You are a star! Just what I need for the start of next school year, aiming at a big impact approach.
Thanks, and have a good summer!

Dianne McKenzie said...

I am glad you have found it inspiring, hopefully it will be a gme changer for you.