Susan Ballard
Material Type:
Graduate / Professional
ALA/AASL Standards, Leadership, OER Adoption, Oer, Organizational Strategy and Change, Program Planning, School Librarian Competency, School Librarian Preparation
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards (11)

Leadership Essentials: School Librarians and OER - How will you lead your school? Making the Leap.

Leadership Essentials:  School Librarians and OER  - How will you lead your school? Making the Leap.


The School Librarian Program at Granite State College is based on the foundational belief that school librarians are essential, integral and transformational leaders.  The program focuses on preparing school librarians as catalysts for school change and learning for the digital age.  In addition to developing the requisite skill sets and knowledge base needed to perform at top levels, there is a focus on the development of dispositions and attitudes such as initiative, creativity, self-direction, resilience, flexibility and intellectual curiosity which are crucial in assisting learning communities to engage in continuous improvement, innovation and reflective practice.  The program emphasizes the convergence of these dispositions,  skills, knowledge and understandings in order for candidates to achieve and succeed with a strategic plan for schools to ramp up and redesign school library media programs to provide the requisite, robust environment and intentional opportunities for meaningful student engagement with content, ideas, information and technology.

This module is intended to be completed over the course of a 12-week semester and is designed to develop understanding about becoming a more effective school library leader within the evolving contexts of the digital age – especially related to the assessment of leadership dispositions and competencies needed to ramp up and redesign school library programs to provide the robust, flexible environments and intentional opportunities for meaningful student and teacher engagement with OER content, ideas, information and technology. 

The module addresses five areas of focus — preparation (2 weeks), planning (2 weeks), organizational strategy and change (3 weeks), transformational learning (3 weeks) and reflection/synthesis (2 week).


Among the roles and responsibilities of the school librarian in the educational environment is strategic planning for the continuous improvement of the program aligned with national and state standards, emerging trends as well as the overall mission and vision of the school and district (and) the application of effective management principles in developing and implementing program goals and objectives as well as policies and standard protocols. 

Through planning, the school librarian demonstrates the efficacy and relevance of the school library program (and) continually examines the learning landscape to meet challenges, innovate and ensure dynamic program development.


ASSIGNMENT: Identify fundamental changes occurring in the field of education and how these impact the use of OER - consider the implications for the school library and K-12 learning environments.  Think about emerging institutional and informational needs, changing expectations of school librarians, new technologies, and long-range plans for the library and using ideas suggested in the toolkit.    Write a descriptive paragraph on how you would you go about developing an initial rationale to introduce the need for OER to your learning community.   

POST: your paragraph to the Discussion Forum for Peer Review and Instructor Review and modify based on feedback.


The school librarian is a visible and active leader within the school community, an advocate for the program, and a professional member of the learning community. As a leader the school librarian fosters an environment of creativity, innovation, and openness to new ideas, welcoming and encouraging input from others to create consensus and enhance services.

In order to develop context, candidates begin this module by considering the concept of leadership in general, school librarian leadership in particular, and contemplate if there is indeed a difference.  It also introduces the transformational aspects of OER as it relates to the educational landscape. Candidates work to define the leadership competencies they need to communicate, collaborate, develop, and sustain working relationships with multiple constituencies with differing priorities in changing environments.

    CONSIDER AND RESPOND to the following in the discussion forum citing the readings and viewings  as appropriate:

    • How do you define leadership?
    • How would you define the leadership role of the school librarian in digital learning – and specifically as it relates to OER?

    Organizational Strategy and Change

    The school librarian as a change agent must consider the demands of the evolving learning landscape and the need to address personalized learning for students designed to prepare them for success in college, careers and community. Digital conversion models and the role of the school librarian as a teacher of teachers and professional development provider in transitioning are emphasized as is the increasing importance of the school librarian in the area of effective use of technology for teaching, learning and organizational efficiency.  Conducting an environmental scan of educational trends and current internal and external factors and indicators in order to effect change are examined.

    DEVELOP and POST to the Discussion Forum for Peer and Instructor Review, a proposal (using the rationale you have developed, including a timeline and identifying any resources needed) for a decision-maker to 1) Identify the benefits of developing a strategic plan to utilize OER resources in your learning community and school library program 2) provide a plan to utilize the resources from Achieve, OET and Project Tomorrow to  assess the strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) related to the successful implementation and use of OER resources in your situation.                        

    MODIFY the plan based on feedback and implement it. 

    ANALYZE the information and data collected and create a topical outline of areas that need to be addressed through professional development for teachers.

    Transformational Learning

    As a transformational learning leader, the school librarian carefully examines new design and delivery options for OER resources and services The school librarian collaborates with all members of the learning community in the acquisition, management and utilization of OER  for teaching and learning. In particular, the school librarian works closely with content/classroom teachers to design engaging learning tasks that integrate key critical thinking skills, technology and various literacy skills with subject area content (AASL 2009).  In addition the school librarian designs and delivers professional development opportunities for faculty and staff in the use and integration of OER across the curriculum and to improve instructional practices and organizational efficiencies.

    Candidates are challenged to develop a mind set to share widely and frequently about their use of OER via social media, networking, participation in professional organizations,  through presentations (in person and digitally) through publication and the provision of professional development to their learning communities related to OER. 

    DESIGN the first of a multi-part, self-paced, interactive, OER tutorial series to introduce teachers to OER.  This should be short (10-15 minutes) and include an accompanying written plan (no more than one or two paragraphs)  to ensure feedback and evaluation.  Use the following checklist to ensure that required elements are addressed:

    Tutorial Checklist

    • Need/reason for the PD is indicated along with a brief description of the contents and activities
    • A measurable objective is identified
    • Learner characteristics are considered in the design
    • The need for prior knowledge and/or pre-activities is/are considered
    • Instructions for use are clear and easy to follow
    • Opportunities for practice are provided
    • An assessment is included
    • Materials and resources (links to web sites, references to materials in a digital folder, embedded materials from outside sites such as Scribd or YouTube, etc. ) needed are relevant and engaging.   

    Reflection and Synthesis

    Self-evaluation of professional growth in the areas of elements of school librarianship, instructional leadership, evaluation of teaching and learning, development of professional culture and leading organizational change are critical for candidates to assess where they are and work that they need to do to improve.  By reflecting on the past, present and future, they document professional growth over time. They are able to integrate and build onprior knowledge, course work and experiences to  demonstrate professional competencies. 

    Take time to think about everything you have experienced in this module. Now, connect your module work, real world experiences, professional standards and what you have learned from your colleagues in a narrative using 2 to 3 pages, APA style. You may want to consider:

    • What are the key lessons learned from this module?
    • Reflect on the learning outcomes of this module and their importance to your overall program of study.
    • Describe how you have grown professionally as related to the programmatic standards.
    • Reflect and describe how the skills learned from this module were or can be applied in your professional life.
    • Describe your next goals in your professional development. Use the ALA competencies as a guideline.