I recently presented to librarians at our regional service center. The title of my presentation was Tell Your Story: Designing Your Virtual Web Presence. The presentation I did there has inspired this blog post and the hashtag I hope to launch.
As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of having a library website. ;-D
I wanted to write about the importance of librarians putting more out into the universe than databases. Your story is not what databases your library offers.
The story of your library should absolutely include your stakeholders. Your story tells what is happening in the library every day. Your story matters to the people you serve because your story is them.
What are your stakeholders doing in your library? How is your library impacting your stakeholders? If you are a school library, how is your library integral to the curriculum? How does your library support student achievement?
Ask yourself, do my stakeholders see themselves in our story? Having a virtual presence and putting announcements about what you will do is important, don’t get me wrong. However, you follow that up with pictures, videos, a story of the event? A story of the lesson? How will others know your story if you aren’t telling it?
My friend Carolyn Foote (https://twitter.com/technolibrary), who I look up to and is one of my sentinels in the library world, writes a great series of advocacy articles for School Library Journal called Project Advocacy, and one of my favorites is “What’s Your Story? Making a Powerful Case for the Library.” Please take a moment to read this inspiring article.
The call to action at the end says,
Librarians are often singletons in our schools. It’s easy to get myopic, focused on our own mission. But our mission is the school’s, too: It’s about serving student and teacher learning. That’s the story we need to tell every day.
We’ve been the curators of stories for centuries. But are we purveyors of our own?
It’s time we should be.
I agree. It is high time that we become the storytellers in our libraries. No matter how you choose to tell your story, websites, blogs, newsletters, emails, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc, it is time we start telling our stories and telling them loudly so that all can hear! When we tell our stories, our stakeholders see themselves in the story, value the experience for their place in it, and we advocate for our programs and place in our schools with every story we tell.
So join me as I start a new hastag: #TYSLib. This hashtag is going to serve several purposes:
- A place to come and ask questions about how to tell our stories
- A place to offer tools and ideas about telling our stories
- A place to encourage one another as we tell our stories
- A network of connected educators who care about libraries and serving students and teachers
- A place to ban together so we know we are not alone as we try and make libraries and our profession better.
Tweet to #TYSLib anytime! If you are not on Twitter, email me and let’s you get you on Twitter so you can become a Connected Educator! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It’s time to Tell Your Story Libraries.