Promoting the School Library Media Program

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you work in a school library, one of your jobs is to help other people understand how your program works and why it matters. This lesson discusses strategies you can use to promote school library media programs.

Library Promotion

Drew has been working as the head librarian at Reese Elementary School for three years. Now that he has a strong understanding of his curriculum and material resources, he has started thinking about what he can do to bring more attention to his program. Drew wants students to understand the amazing resources his library has to offer, and he wants teachers to learn more about how they can enhance their curricula through library collaboration. He also wants administrative support for the library and, sometimes, encouragement and funding from community members. All of these ideas come under the umbrella of finding ways to promote the school library media program. Drew begins to research the different promotion options that are out there.

Special Occasions and Festivals

First, Drew learns that he can use the library to host special occasions for the school. Special occasions bring children into the library so that they can learn more about what it contains. Families, teachers, and administrators also learn more about what the library has to offer when they attend special occasions. Drew plans special occasions such as:

  • Dress Like a Character Day

On this day, children come to school dressed as their favorite character and meet in shifts in the library to share their costumes and discuss the books that inspired them.

  • Cultural Celebrations

The library is a wonderful place to celebrate holidays and festivals from around the world, and Drew takes these opportunities to showcase his multicultural collections.

  • Hogwarts Day

Drew has noticed that the Harry Potter series remains popular at Reese, so he hosts an afternoon in the library dedicated to Hogwarts crafts and activities. Colleagues at other schools pay attention to books and series that are popular there and create occasions on this basis.

  • Scavenger Hunts

Twice a year, Drew hosts scavenger hunts in his library. These are a great way to bring children and community members in to learn about newly acquired books and technologies.

  • Technology Exploration Events

Sometimes, Drew hosts workshops to teach children, teachers, and other community members about the many different technological resources he has available in the library.

Making Use of Meetings

As part of his job, Drew is required to attend faculty meetings and sometimes grade level meetings as well. At first, Drew thought these were a tedious waste of time, but now he knows that attending these meetings can help him with promotion. When Drew sits at these meetings, he listens for opportunities for curricular collaboration, or places in the school's curriculum where library access might be a good support. He is also careful to point out the ways the library can help teachers with technological innovations in their teaching and planning. Many of Drew's best promotional campaigns have stemmed from paying close attention in meetings.

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