As a librarian, it is my personal mission to: model a love of learning and discovery, demonstrate my passion to help students become lifelong learners; expose patrons to a place where children and adults come to collaborate, create, explore resources, and discover new worlds; and unearth ways to mirror what is happening in the classroom with the outside world, creating authentic experiences that foster a sense of joy for learning.
The intended audience of my personal mission statement are those in my school community: students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Much of my practice as a librarian echoes Megan Egbert‘s beliefs as a librarian and a parent, “We should probably embrace what is here and use it to our advantage, rather than fighting with reality. Be involved in what your children are interested in” (Egbert, 2014). I am very transparent with my students, I want them to know that I do not have all the answers and that we are all on the same journey of exploration and discovery.
One of my goals as a librarian is to make myself visible and available to the school community as much as possible, I entered a space that was strictly used for accessing print resources. It was my job to change the atmosphere of both the space and the position, a large part of that change came with truly connecting with faculty, much in the way Palmer describes in his book, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life: “[I]f we want to grow as teachers–we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives–risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal” (Palmer, 2007). By visiting classrooms, offering up curriculum-related materials, reinvigorating the library space, and adding an online presence through digital resource pages and a library website, the library is becoming a welcoming nook in the school where treasures lie and learning is fun.
A change to the library space, has also meant the adoption of technology in a meaningful way. In the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, educator, Mike Ribble found that “95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online” (Ribble, 2013). To treat the library as simply a large repository of books, would be to encourage irrelevance of the library in the very near future. Much of the collaboration, creation, and exploration mentioned in the mission statement happens through digital devices and the library is often the epicenter of examining new possibilities for incorporating technology into the classroom. Ribble goes on to say, “Times and technologies have changed, but the need for basic skills in humanity are important” (Ribble, 2013). With that in mind, students are required to complete an online digital badge course in digital citizenship prior to creating their own blogs. While discussing who would teach this course, it seemed a natural fit to take place in the library, under my guidance as school librarian. This experience prepares students to be responsible and respectful online, they are quickly discovering how to be in control of their digital footprint and that there truly is no “right to be forgotten” online (Toobin, 2014). As they journey through this experience, they have come to see the library and the library staff in a new light.
This mission statement is meant to serve as a reflection of who I am as a professional and what I hope to accomplish in the months and years to come. The words I have chosen are deliberate elements of who I am and what I do: model, discovery, passion, lifelong, collaborate, create, and explore.
Egbert, M. (2014, March 11). 10 reasons why I will continue to give my children handheld devices. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://hipmombrarian.com/2014/03/11/10-reasons-why-i-will-continue-to-give-my-children-handheld-devices/
Hachewsky, C. A. (n.d.). Mission statement. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from Living Libraries website: http://carolnahachewsky.wordpress.com/mission-statement/
Mission, signatures, and vision. (n.d.). Retrieved October 5, 2014, from Seattle Pacific University website: http://www.spu.edu/about-spu/mission-and-signatures
Palmer, P. J. (2007). The courage to teach: exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life. San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.
Reynolds, T. (n.d.). Mission statements and reflections. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from Tammy Reynolds ePortfolio website: http://thelearninglibrarian.wordpress.com/letter-of-introduction/
Ribble, M., & Miller, T. N. (2013). Educational leadership in an online world: connecting students to technology responsibly, safely, and ethically. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 17(1), 137-145.
Toobin, J. (2014, September 29). The solace of oblivion. The New Yorker, 90(29), 26. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/29/solace-oblivion