There is so much to do for a school librarian, the thought of leaving often seems ludicrous. It’s one of the most important things that we can do as professionals. Whether you are the only librarian in the building, or you have been in the same job for more than 5 years, it’s important to get out and see what other professionals are doing.
Let’s face it, professional development dollars are scarce, but we all need inspiration. Why not visit another school library in your town? It can be a public school or a private school; it can even be a school library that serves an entirely different population than your library. Talking with other librarians and seeing how they handle students, materials and administration can be invaluable. Just building your own network can pay off over time.
Some of my most inspiring hours during ALA conferences have been spent visiting the school libraries of the surrounding cities we are in. Not only have I gotten ideas about simple things like displays and bulletin boards, but I have built a network of peers that I feel free to call on when I have a question about implementing a program that I know is successful elsewhere.
Next time you find yourself looking for some inspiration, get out of your library! You’ll be happy you did!