"Gone are the days".
You might think that the title of this post refers to the end of summer break. In a way, it does; yesterday was the beginning of my work calendar, and it was spent in an all-day meeting with all the librarians in our district.
It was a great day of teambuilding, reviewing necessary details, and planning. One of our breakout sessions was spent in newly-formed committees. Our director had chosen the committee tasks, and we were free to choose whichever topic spoke to our strengths or weaknesses. Since I have a personal goal to blog more about the library this year (on my "More Books Than Time" page), I decided to participate in the "Advocacy/ Public Relations" group.
We covered several points in our discussion, ranging from data collection to infographics to Twitter and Facebook updates. There was talk of monthly reports to our administrators and district-level reports that could be generated for our director's use. A couple of librarians pointed out that we need to keep our phone at hand, to take pictures and post/Tweet/share on a regular basis (while protecting the anonymity of students whose parents haven't permitted public postings of photographs, of course).
I get the need to advertise what we do in the library. With all the negative publicity about education circulating these days, it is now up to educators--librarians included--to expose the real, hard work that goes on in schools every day. Our state teacher of the year is prompting us to share positive articles of teaching and learning as well. And while I understand the need to promote the good things that are happening in our educational settings, I also feel a bit chafed regarding this new role of publicist. Part of me wants to just live in the moment, teach my lessons, promote literacy, build relationships with my learning community, do my job in peace and be trusted and respected for doing so, without the need to advertise on what feels like a global scale.
I guess those days are gone.