“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
How do you see your future as a school librarian? How does it look?
Many questions or many wonders? Sometimes, we get lost in our routines and forget to keep on growing as professionals. We need to plan our professional learning (PL). As Ellen Moir mentions in ‘Evolving from professional development to professional learning,’ PL is developing teachers/librarians’ skills according to the school community’s needs. It’s monitored and assessed by a mentor.
School librarianship is a career embed with technology. The school librarians’ role has changed and evolved as technology has taken the library and the classroom. The COVID-19 pandemic put school librarians at the frontline of remote learning and knowledge facilitators. School librarians assumed new roles as technology integrators and coaches.
I was guiding and training educators in their transition to remote-learning. Our role, as school librarians, goes beyond curating resources. We are proposing them tools that will enhance their teaching skills, empower them, and grow as educators.
As a school librarian in international education, we need to improve our skills in teaching and technology. Fortunately, there are online options available. Each of them covers areas of specialization like technology integration, services to target groups, reading, and more. Find below a selection of institutions offering online certificates or courses.
It’s a stackable Certificate of Educational Technology and Information Literacy. It includes five courses covering topics from educational pedagogy to design, policies, ISTE standards, and more. It will take you more or less a year and a half with a final project to end the certificate. It’s an example of online learning, teamwork, and collaboration. You will learn the theoretical part of online education, apply it, and reflect on your blog. I started COETAIL as a school librarian, and I ended as an educator and media specialist.
You can find information about it at Eduro Learning.
The ‘International Society of Technology in Education’ offers different courses and certificates related to the application of the ISTE standards in education. Many school librarians are members of ISTE, and their certification is a great complement to become a media specialist.
You can find information about it at ISTE.
The ‘American Association of School Librarians’ division of ALA offers different short online courses for school librarians. They are focus on specific areas of school librarianship. Also, they have a free digital library with articles, podcasts, and digital resources for self-study.
You can find information about it at ASSL
The ‘Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of ALA, offers multiple short online courses and webinars for librarians working with teenagers.
You can find information about it at YALSA.
Masters and beyond.
Always a degree will expand your possibilities. Many options are depending on your academic orientation and perspectives. You can find interesting programs in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Finally, remember that your future is in your hands. There are many online options according to your aims and budget. But you are the only one that will decide on your new journey.
Are you ready to take the risk?
by Liliana Bandini