Thing 33: Taking the Lead: Connecting with your Stakeholders

Hmmmmm, connecting with our stakeholders.

Step 1: Reflect on what we do now

  • Talk to the students when they come into the library either with a class or during their free time.
    • With classes this conversation is often focused on us helping them with their research tasks in lessons we have taught.
    • While in the library during free time it is most often the Teaching Assistants or the Library Clerk that is speaking to the students. These conversations range from corrections of actions (no eating in the library) or general get to know you chit chat.
  • Email the teachers to setup their research classes.
  • Talk to the teachers before and at the beginning of their projects.
  • Email lists of weeded books to the Board of Education for their approval.
  • Mail out the annual report every year after the school year has ended.
  • Meet with the principal when we have problems or concerns.
  • Talk to other teachers that happen to stop in the library.
  • Parents get automated phone calls when their student has an overdue library book.

Looking at this I realize that our communication with many of our stakeholders is limited
connecting_the_dots to a small grou
p and a small space in time: Return your books, help us with this problem, come to the library with your class for research. We don’t connect with a “Check out the library” type conversation. Based on the last few activities we are planning on kicking up our annual report a notch. I’m excited to explore other ways to connect with out stakeholders in a positive way.

Step 2: What can we do differently?

Watching the video Heidi Neltner on “Your Stakeholder Connected Librarian Toolkit” from  Connected Librarians Day 2014Heidi Neltner has given me, as it was intended to, a huge toolkit to work with. I learned two big things from this.

  1. I have already identified my stakeholders.
  2. There are some really cool and simple ways to connect with them.

While the video deserves a second and even third viewing here are my notes from the Connected Librarian Stakeholder Toolkit video:

Below are my personal notes and reflections based on this video posted on YouTube. The time indicators are the location of each section. Thank you Heidi Neltner for sharing your process and tools!

Stakeholders she focuses on: students, teachers, parents, administrators

She researched stakeholders by:

  • Reviewing the mission statement of school
  • Reviewing the school improvement plan
  • Looking at TELL survey data results (used in her state)
  • Used Google forms to survey teachers, students, administrators at her building level and at the district level
    • Discovered teachers and administrators main focus was student growth and success as being the largest concern.
    • Students biggest concern at the elementary level was to find a book they wanted to read.
  • Message was tailored based on this information
  • Keep your message short and sweet
    • talking points for each group

Cool ways to connect

  • Students (13 minute mark)

    • faced books outward like they do in a bookstore
    • added shelf markers to point out key sections 14:40
    • 15:40 High school librarian uses google forms for check in and check out
    • 15:00 use the library desktops to do your work for you
    • Highlight books that are new by taking pictures and using Picassa and Google photo screen saver.
    • She talks about having a Symbaloo on her Destiny home page 17:25 but I was unable to see that from her webpage which is worth checking out for organization and screencast examples
    • Visual search created based on genre’s
    • Added student created book trailers to the catalog
    • Uses Screencast-o-matic to create screen casts and videos to save time, provide consistency in teaching among classes, provide teaching tool for students who may have missed the instruction 19:00
    • Uses PowToon for different types of instruction to make it both fun and entertaining 20:40
    • Aurasma for instruction sheets and booktalks 22:00
  • Teachers 23:00

    • Tuesday Teacher tips using Smore
      • Keep it small, maybe three things
      • Benefits of Smore is analytics page showing how many are viewing her flyer and how long they are looking at it
      • Promote new book and how they can use it
      • Promote technology tool
    • PD of tools that they are interested in using
      • Picassa and Canva
      • Keep it short
      • Keep it Visual 27:00
    • Infographics
      • One page with the most important information
      • She uses Piktochart and app smashes it with Thinglink and posts this on her blog where teachers can come back to it 28:00
  • Administrators

    • Piktochart to create library reports 29:00
      • Not interested in how many books kids are checking out but on how we are contributing to student growth
    • Need to align report to student growth
    • Share programming ideas
      • She uses Canva to create visuals
      • Doing one book one school. Invited all adults in the building to read the book. Also got copies of the book for all school board members and invited them to participate
  • Parents 34:00

    • Didn’t poll parents yet but referred to AASL information
      • Uses Publisher in her email blast to parents. Parents don’t have to click on anything. Photos and links will be embedded.
      • Share projects students are working on.
      • Sent out quarterly
      • Uses facebook for day to day information. Posts weekly.
      • Shares opening video using Powtoons on facebook 37:00
      • Used Canva to create profile picture and banner to be used across platforms

Overall: “Develop an image and style that is both consistent and relevant” for your school library.

This is a great list of ideas. The next step is to narrow it down and focus on one step at a time.


The one other thing that stood out to me from this lesson is the post by a High School Principal about the school library. Great read. We should all be seen that way by our principal.


About Kim Nemeth

Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a High School Library Media Specialist in beautiful Saratoga Springs New York. I am an avid reader and am addicted to learning. This blog was originally started as part of the Cool Tools for Schools project in 2012. Since then I have continued to participate in Cool Tools for Schools and add my thoughts here. I found this blog to be an excellent place to refer to when I needed an idea or had a tick mark in my head and needed a reminder. I would love comments and feedback on my posts. Enjoy!
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