Teacher librarian as a leader, reading one ETL504

Leadership for teacher librarians is surely no different from any other leader. Leadership is leadership. All successful leaders need; technical competence, conceptual skills ( ethical use of information, organisation, access and confidentiality), people skills, the ability to make decisions promptly ( to make judgements) and inspire to a set of beliefs such as commitment of confidentiality, affirmation of intellectual property and open and equal access to information.

Leaders also need to know the limits of their influence and not try to stretch themselves beyond their sphere of influence. By doing this the teacher librarian is enable to look for solutions within by listening to concerns from teachers and children. Having a belief that the power to make things work is an internal thing and you are not reliant on others makes the leader proactive and engenders a can do attitude.
To be a great TL you need to ensure that you have a full understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses. Using strengths can ensure that the program will be great in some areas and then you work at being great in the areas that are not as strong. A great TL also needs to be passionate. perhaps not passionate about every aspect, but to identify what they are passionate about and use that to inspire and enthuse students, colleagues and themselves.
A clear vision is a necessity and this must be shared, concrete, in terms of people knowing what the vision looks like and have clarity; that those that have to carry it out know how to carry it out and do so.
To do this the TL needs to collaborate, have good technical skills which are grounded in the conceptual understandings mentioned above.
“When the best leaders work is done, the people say, ‘We did it ourselves’ Lao Tzu, Chinese Taoist philosopher . You must work collegiately with others, leading more often through influence. This means establishing expertise, working well with others, articulating ideas clearly and doing what you say you will plus continually reflecting and assessing. To be regarded as having expertise the TL must be constantly learning to expand and update their knowledge and expertise.
To lead from the middle you need to volunteer to be involved in curriculum groups and be prepared to be a resourcer to any one that needs information .
You must have vision and this vision must be measured against standards of performance. Opportunities must be seized as they are presented and enthusiasm shared .

Donham, J. (2005) Leadership. In Enhancing teaching and learning: a leadership guide for school library media specialists (2nd ed.) (pp. 295-305). New York: Neal-Schulman Publishers


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