Role: Program Administrator

A successful program administrator is a leader in the school, an advocate for teacher librarians, and a program manager.

As an administrator of the school library, a teacher librarian must be an active visible leader, not only in the library but in the school as a whole. In the role as a leader in the school, the teacher librarian shares knowledge and skills with others in the school community, modeling effective teaching practices.  As a successful leader, a teacher librarian must be constantly working on developing “content-area teaching and learning, new pedagogical strategies, trends in the education and technology landscapes, and the skills related to information, media, and technology fluency” (AASL, 2013, p. 81). Being a leader is assisted by being involved in professional organizations that support the goals of the school and the school’s library. The teacher librarian’s involvement in professional organizations provides exposure to new and emerging trends in technology and education to the benefit of the school community. A leader has a vision and direction for the future, setting goals and creating action plans to meet those goals. But a leader does not stop there – a leader builds relationships with others in the school and community who support the goals and ideas (Kearney, 2000, p. 2).

A successful program administrator also is an advocate for teacher librarians and the library.  While the teacher librarian understands the library and the importance of the program, there may be others who do not fully understand the importance of having a qualified teacher librarian in the library and the positive impact that it has on students. A study by Lance & Hofschire (2012) shows that “schools with the largest percentage of higher advanced reading scores in 2011 and higher increases in advanced reading scores between 2005 and 2011 (49%) were those that gained an endorsed librarian.”  The library and a qualified teacher librarian will improve student scores.  Advocacy for the school library is assisted by good public relations which is “[informing] people what you are doing well. You let them know of your existence and show that you provide an important service” (Toor & Weisburg, 2006, p. 119).  It is important to be proactive in understanding the mission of the school and how the school library ties into the mission.  Being an advocate for the school library is not a job that has to be done alone. As the teacher librarian reaches out and helps students, parents, teachers and school administrators, the teacher librarian is building support for the school library and media center. In the future, these people will not only return to use the resources the library has to offer but hopefully to become advocates themselves for the library.

Finally, in the role of an administrator, the teacher librarian must also be a program manager. A teacher librarian must constantly evaluate and reevaluate the library and the services that are offered to determine the best way to serve student needs. There are many ways to evaluate the services the library offers such as reviewing the library collection through collection maps. Not only must the resources and services be evaluated, but changes must be made based on those evaluations to continue to best serve the patrons of the library. Collections need to be weeded to remove books and add new ones. As other teachers in the building are part of the library’s user base, they are a great resource for assistance in evaluating the services. Reviewing collection evaluations a teacher librarian must be constantly aware of other funding sources that exist to continue to strengthen the library’s collection. Grants can be written and fund raising can be completed to build the collection to support all library patrons. As a program manager the librarian must make sure the library is a welcoming location for all patrons.


The Ruined Realm. The Ruined Realm is an example of a reading promotion that a library could offer.  Through gamification, the Ruined Realm motivates students with “game-like mechanics.” Student’s are divided into clans or teams and must conquer the Realm.  The various various different challenges they complete both individually and as a clan will help their team succeed and become champions of the realm.

The Ruined Realm Website.
To provide access to The Ruined Realm twenty four hours a day, a website was constructed to post challenges and allow librarian / student interaction.

Promotional Video for The Ruined Realm.

The Ruined Realm explained.
This document provides an overview of how the Ruined Realm would work as well as sample mechanics that would be used in the game.

Evaluating Models of the Research Process.  In this video I examine and evaluate three different models of the research process.


AASL. (2009). Empowering learners: Guidelines for school library media programs. Chicago, IL: American Association of School Librarians.

Kearney, C. (2000). Curriculum partner: Redefining the role of the library media specialist. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Lance, K., & Hofschire, L. (2012). Change in school librarian staffing linked with change in CSAP reading performance, 2005 to 2011. Denver, CO: Colorado State Library, Library Research Service.

Toor, R. & Weisburg, H. (2006). New on the Job : A School Library Media Specialist’s Guide to Success.  Chicago, IL: American Library Association.