As a leader in the library, you work collaboratively with teaching, library and administration staff. In these collaborations you lead others to improve student learning outcomes as well as support the information needs of all staff and students. This can be a very busy role as you teach, manage the library, consult on curriculum, provide a range of information services and develop programs. As a leader in the library you need to plan effectively for the future. This planning is for the development of your library and its services as well as any other program or task that may have a positive impact on the role of the school library or teacher librarian as well as learning outcomes.
A strategic plan is a process that enables you to create your future by planning for it. A typical strategic plan will be a forecast of between 3 – 5 years. It is cyclical and has many variations. A strategic plan is not only about articulating what you want to achieve – it must take into account the current and possible conditions that are internal and external to the school and respond to those conditions.
A good strategic plan is one where there has been collaboration with a range of stakeholders so that they actively agree or have “bought in” to the plan.
A SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats is one tool that can be used at the beginning of the process after you have the data from surveys and other qualitative data that may be available from your Library database or school systems. The results of the data and surveys should inform your discussions and decisions when completing the SWOT analysis. While you can complete a SWOT analysis as an individual, the ability of your strategic plan to have impact in the wider school community will be increased if other members of the school community participate in the SWOT.
The targets from our school plan are:
1. To improve student performance in Literacy and Numeracy by 5% in the top NAPLAN bands with a focus on higher order thinking.
2. To improve assessment practices in Literacy and Numeracy so that they better inform teaching to a diverse range of students.
The goals on the whole are simple and clear.
Target 1 is measurable. However, a ‘focus’ on higher order thinking isn’t measurable. Target 2 is difficult to measure unless NAPLAN data is used to assess this too.
The measurable parts of these goals are achievable, but require significant planning in order to achieve them.
The goals are reasonable as they’re tied to Australian Curriculum outcomes and current pedagogy.
The goals are achievable in the 12 month timeframe given.
Mission and Vision Statements
- Simply put, a mission statement tells you the purpose of your school or library service, whilst a vision statement tells you where you would like your school or library to be in the future.
- A vision and mission statement is critical to an organisation that wants to develop or grow.
- A library will continue to provide information services without a mission or vision statement but it is less likely to develop without them or for the teacher librarian to show leadership?
- What’s the difference between Mission and Vision? A vision statement should be no more than 3 sentences and is future focused.
- A mission statement accurately reflects your library’s current principles. Both statements should be relatively succinct so that they are memorable.
3 Types of Vision Statements
- Quantitative: Numeric in nature or numeric value. Eg.$100 million in sales or the ‘world’ (as in best in the world)
- Competitive: Out beat/bid everyone.
- Superlative: Must be No. 1 OR ‘the best!’