March 27, 2017

Subscribe to SLJ

Gain Support When You Support District Goals | Take the Lead


The way to success for this district librarian has been to start small, build a network of library advocates, dream big, and never stop working for transformative change.

Making the Principal Connection

Illustration by Jean Tuttle

Mark Ray asserts that principals and librarians have a lot more in common than you might think—and he should know. After 20 years as a teacher librarian, the 2012 Washington Teacher of the Year has become a district IT administrator. From his new perch, he shares insights into the the pivotal alliance possible between two key solo players in the school: librarian and principal.

How Does Your Boss See You?: Proof That Principals Value Librarians

Illustration by David Flaherty for SLJ feature "How does your boss see you"

Principals value their librarians. They also want them to be more visible leaders.

Those are just two of the interesting findings from a recent survey of 102 media specialists and 67 principals. In fact, 90 percent of the administrators that we surveyed think we have a positive impact in schools—and a large number also feel that our jobs are important. That’s great news, considering only 65 percent of librarians in the study thought their bosses would recognize the valuable role we play.

What Does Your Boss Think About You?

SLJ’s survey reveals principals’ lack of knowledge about the role of school librarians

Tom Baltzer, a principal at Huntington Elementary School in Utah, is so gung ho about the media center that he can’t imagine the school without one. In fact, he jokes that the staff and district would rather get rid of the principal first. “I would be devastated. The children would be hurt, and the school would be hurt,” Baltzer says. The school’s librarian, Paulette Kelly, doesn’t merely play […]