7 Handy Tips to Promote your Library

When working as a school librarian, a strongly collaborative environment is important.
Acheiving that collaborative atmosphere is not always easy, however.
Below are some tips for promoting yourself and your library in order to establish a strong foundation for the kind of collaboration that creates stronger learners.

1. Establish good relationships (bring food!)

There's no denying that free food is one of the biggest draws.
Offer tutorials on your school's catalog or databases. hold a monthly brown bag workshop on a web tool you've just learned about like wikis, social bookmarking, or slideshow programs.
If there's free food, you'll see completely new faces. Ask your principal for help with funding for food or make it a potluck.

2. Choose a committee to be on, CSC or SLT ex.

Serving on a committee is a great way to meet parents, make connections, and gain support.

3. Eat lunch with other departments/grade levels

Close the library for lunch or get coverage one day per week or month and go have lunch with a different department. Lunch time is a great time to find out what's going on in the building. Also try inviting other teachers/departments to join you in the library for lunch.

4. Offer your library to Parents and teachers as a meeting place

Host parent teacher association meetings in the library, have late check out days for parents to come and use the library with their children after school. Leave pamphlets and brochures out for the committee members to read. When they are in the library they will think about the library. Think about offering your space for community members as well!

5. Communicate frequently with faculty, staff, administration, and parents through newsletter, emails, informal meetings, school website

It's a good idea to start a library blog. You can post updates, let teachers know that new books have arrived, and post information that is relevant to the school on your blog. Then a quick cut-and-paste into a school-wide email and you have notified teachers and you have an archive they can revisit.
Be there during Parent/Teacher conferences and hand out newsletters to parents who are waiting their turn for a conference.
Do presentations during Professional development meetings. Teachers can't recommend databases if they don't know about them. Try to get at least two five-minute presentations per year--show teachers how cool these resources are and then email them the links the same day.

6. Hold Family event nights, promoting literacy and reading

At the Elementary level, work with your principal and teachers to schedule literacy nights hosted by Community Resources, Inc. and offer the library as one of the main meeting spaces.

7.Extend your Hours

You might be surprised by the number of faculty and students who will come to the library before and after school. Staying open just an extra 30 minutes can make a world of difference.