The Concepts of Administration


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The Concepts of Administration

  1. 1. School Personnel<br /> Managing a library is managing the facility, materials, computers and audio-visual and managing the staff of the library. As a manager you will sometimes have to make decisions that are unfavorable to the staff and yet one of your goals as a librarian is to help the staff to be inspired about their work. To manage people you need to be a strong leader especially in helping to create and promote the unified vision and goals of the library and staff. A media specialist not only is in charge of training staff but also has the duty of instructing both students and teachers in information literacy. One key to being a good manager is to strive to be a facilitator and not ‘a boss’ and this entails allowing the staff to have great input and influence over their work once they are knowledgeable of their duties. As a manager and leader you want to keep the administration informed on a consistent basis of the activities and goals of the library so that those in charge will not only become familiar with the importance of the library for greatly aiding in student learning but also you will need them one day as an advocate. Once I become manager of a library I plan to employ the method of telling and training my staff in regards to our objectives and tasks -of what needs to be done, but at the same time I will not micromanage and I will give them the freedom to do tasks and jobs as they see fit. I believe that the more ‘say’ and responsibility someone has over their own job the more involved and effective they will be in that job especially when they are thinking for themselves and problem solving.<br />Leadership and Professionalism<br /> The primary goal of the library is student achievement. The library has the potential to be the heart of the school and to be a force for positive change in the school district community as well. Therefore in managing the library a leader helps in creating a space that students want to be in. By being a life-long learner and getting to know all the students of all cultural, socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds the librarian will become a leader in the school by working with the students, teachers, staff, and the larger community to help to create a social and learning space that students and staff are excited about. As we know students love to create and students and teachers need to be co-creators in designing the layout, various areas, programs, displays, websites, the OPAC, material selections, and various other aspects of the library. Being a leader in the library and school and possibly community is being a leader in regards to managing, teaching, public relations, and being a positive force in the lives of students and teachers. The leadership of the librarian entails serving on the leadership and curriculum committees and consistently attends lesson designing meetings to lead and assist the teachers in collaborating across curriculums and across grade levels. A librarian also leads in promoting reading and teaching information literacy or multiple literacies to all students. To be a leader the library needs to advocate for the library and to interact and participate on both a local and national level in organizations such as ALA and REFORMA. I have been a member of REFORMA (an organization to promote Latino literature) for the past two years and I actually sent correspondence back and forth with the president of REFORMA on the subject of research I was doing for my poster project on ‘better serving Latino students’. She not only assisted and advised me on locating the research evidence I needed but also she helped me get more involved in the movement to promote Latino literature.<br />National and State Standards<br /> Standards for libraries are very important for they allow some uniformity for all schools no matter what the socio-economic background of the district. Having standards also gives librarians a measuring stick to strive for exemplary status in all aspects of Texas standards and in achieving all national standards as well. Standards also allow librarians to assess both quantitatively and qualitatively where they are in many areas of managing the library and where they need to be to better serve the school and learning community. The state standard in Texas is the document Standards and Guidelines created by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission after much research on how libraries positively affect student achievement. The state standards are divided into six basic areas: teaching; leadership/management; technology; environment; making connections in the community; and information literacy. The national standards called Standards for the 21st Century Learner were created by the American Association of School Libraries after researching how the library affects student success in learning. The AASL standards are grouped into four areas of skills of : a) thinking critically and seeking information; b) making informed decisions with the information obtained; c) sharing knowledge with others and actively participating in our society and democracy; d) becoming a life-long learner. The existence of the Texas state standards have allowed me become aware of the lack of importance given to school library budgets in the city of San Antonio as well as the state as a whole. All the librarians of schools on the south-side of San Antonio that I have spoken with tell me that there average book count per student at their school is much lower than the exemplary status and in most instances barely meets the acceptable standard.<br />Library Budget<br /> Managing a balanced budget is essential to the day-to-day operation of the library because without money for materials and services the students will have no books to read, etc. Budgets show the past, present and upcoming year. Prior to creating a budget or proposal to expand programs a librarian needs to perform a needs assessment. It is a prioritykey to involve as many people as possible–the whole school, in the process of assessment. In budgeting and in ordering you always need to keep the end of the fiscal year in mind especially when ordering materials which need to come in good time prior to the end of the fiscal year. Prior to purchasing the librarian needs to include replacement cost when figuring both the cost of materials and equipment. When figuring equipment costs you need consider the number of hours or days you will use certain equipment and consider the life span of the equipment. After writing a needs assessment for a proposal the media specialist needs to form a proposal committee made of teachers and students to help complete tasks such as: preparing goals; creating a plan of action and for evaluation; and finally to build a budget. I have to admit that I went in to our exercise in library management class of writing a school library budget with hesitation due to my lack of experience in accounting. However with the mindtools that I used such as Excel and in creating a table it really helped to simplify the process. And even greater help in easing the process of creating a budget were the statistics available to me via the details of the prior year’s budget created by our school librarian. The fact the budget for this year and coming years is based on the budget of previous years was a big revelation and relief for me.<br />Library Facility<br /> The main function of a library is student learning and therefore the library must be designed and arranged with this primary goal in mind. Aesthetic appeal and the amount of space were the top two reasons given by people in a study of what aspects of a library are important to them. This is an important lesson to keep in mind for the size of facility needs to be proportional to population and in attracting both students and teachers to utilize the materials and services of the library. To help with student safety, in designing, there must be an awareness of traffic flow and all exits and entrances need to be seen from a circulation desk or librarian stations. In designing the environment there needs to be areas created for both study and quiet reading and they need to be some distance from noisy areas like traffic flow and circulation. Also there needs to be created an area for leisure reading and one for computer use. And a classroom or setting for instruction needs to be in the design as well. It is very helpful to form committees of students and teachers in helping to analyze and conduct ongoing assessment of the effectiveness of the learning environment created by design, arrangement, and projects of the facility. Knowing that aesthetic appeal is one of the major aspects necessary for patron enjoyment of the library I will put considerable planning and energy into the designing or decorating a school library. Based on the fact that living plants effect student performance I will have lots of green plants and small trees in the library to be used as both a <br />calming and warming element/aesthetic and a natural and pleasant looking barrier to divide the working spaces of the library facility.<br />Teacher-Librarian Collaboration<br /> The goal in working with teachers is to use the curriculum and TEKS to collaborate on lessons with teachers in order to get them to collaborate with each other on lessons across subject or departments. Just as important is the goal to use the curriculum to integrate lessons with services and information literacy skills and activities most likely leading the teachers to realize the need to bring their students in to the library. To carry out these two goals the librarian must be knowledgeable of the TEKs and curriculum of each subject and grade level at the school. Second, the librarian needs to collaborate with teachers during their curriculum planning and lesson designing prior to school beginning and consistently throughout the school year. It is in these meetings that the librarian can encourage teachers to teach beyond the textbook and integrate more critical thinking, reflective dispositions, and multiple literacies skills into their lesson designs. Once I become a librarian in attending At the curriculum planning and lesson design meetings the librarian I will offers services and materials as well as ideas for their use. It is also in these cross curricular lesson design meetings that the librarian needs to I will take the lead as she/he is the only one that I will knows about each and every subject’s curriculum. The librarian I plan to be a leaderis not only the leader in teaching the entire student body information literacy but also in instructing teachers on the technology and mind tools students will need in utilizing these skills and for their academic achievement and learning in general.<br />Grant Proposal Writing<br /> Be able to write a good and effective grant proposal is an very necessary skill for today’s librarian. In order to write a grant proposal that will be considered the librarian must put in considerable time and effort into the process and to understand the entire process. To begin planning for grant writing and project planning you have to make a strategic plan to know what your library and the community or school you serve is about –basically what are the history, values, goals, and needs of your library and what are the characteristics of the ‘who’ you are serving. Next you need to plan your project by charting out your goals, objectives and activities to accomplish each individual objective. Once you have accomplished this task you are ready to organize a project planning team by selecting individuals who are involved in the school community and one from the community-at-large such as a local business and as a team you can review and collaborate on the goals, objectives, actions, and intended outcomes of the project. Next you want to create a project timeline in which you designate the month, week, or days that each major task is to be completed. You of course need to create a budget for the project of both projected personnel costs and non-personnel costs such as equipment, space rental, supplies, etc. An evaluation plan needs to be created for you need to consider and decide on the most effective methods for measuring the outcomes of the actions proposed meeting specific goals and objectives and success in general. Next, to locate the best choices of funders for potential grants you have to make sure that the goal of the funder matches the goal of your project. Now you are ready to write the grant proposal after you take the first step of carefully reading over the entire grant application and to make note of requirements and any keywords or concepts so that you will be sure to address these concepts in your proposal. And as a final and very necessary step -make sure you double check to make sure you have followed and addressed every item stated in the directions and guidelines. In our grant writing class taught by Dr. Hoffman my teammates and I wrote a grant for 30 laptops in order to meet the technological and engagement needs of students in my 8th grade ELA class. I found the process very challenging and rewarding and I believe this is mostly due to the fact that we wrote this grant not for merely practice but for an actual need and project plan. I plan on submitting this grant to certain organizations and once I have completed all requirements for my Masters in Library Science I plan to research other grant offerings to locate additional organizations I may submit the grant to.<br />Research<br /> Survey Research is type or genre of research methods in which we can learn about a certain group or population by studying a smaller number (sample) of this certain population. There are many and various types of survey research methods. Survey research is often used or employed to study personal factors and for analyzing relationships between two entities/factors. Experimental Design or research is known to be the most rigorous out of all the various methods of research. In experimental design the researcher observes the effect or lack of effect upon a group that is affected in an experiment. In other words in a true experimental design the researcher is able to detect or infer a causal relationship (-the cause always leads to the effect) and not just an associational relationship as is the case with survey research methods. In Social Science experiments the researcher needs to infer a causal relationship for he/she cannot show a direct causal relationship. Historical research is a method of research used by those concerned with the objects and events in the past/history and in analyzing and interpreting the relationships of these events or items discovered in their proper context and based on these findings the researcher can infer patterns or trends for our present and future condition. Some people, in the past, have wrongly confused historical research with chronology. Content analysis is the method of qualitative research in which a researcher studies by use of the scientific method the certain aspects of the content –words, phrases, meaning, and effect, of a piece of communication such as a letter, interview, film, webpage, etc. Content analysis is sometimes considered a quasi or weaker method of research especially when evaluating items without using value theory (–the how, why and to what degree we should value something or someone) when compared to the three basic types –survey, experimental, historical study. Journalistic Investigation is a type of research in which the researcher investigates deeply into a subject, event, etc., in order to reveal the truth. Another way of looking at it is –journalistic investigation is a procedure based on the scientific method of looking deeply or observing and evaluating the data and facts so that the readers may have enough objective facts to make informed judgments on specific issues, events, etc, that have generally received little or poor coverage in the media. Journalistic investigation is sometimes considered to be a weaker form of research when compared to survey, experimental, and historical study. However if executed by following systematic procedures and the principles of scientific research this form of research can be very effective. I plan on employing the research methods once I become a librarian. I plan to use the survey research method each and every school year in order to become aware of the reading habits and any trends in reading and subjects of YA literature among Middle school students.<br />