MCHENRY, Ill., July 23, 2015. Project Connect has announced new initiatives designed to support the cause of future-ready libraries and librarians, all with the ultimate goal of enhancing student learning in a dynamic digital world. The organization's Library Leadership Committee held its first round of think-tank sessions at the ISTE '15 Conference in Philadelphia, where the team developed plans to advocate for school library programs through the promotion of innovative and progressive models in use around the country.
Chief among the committee's responsibilities will be devising a "Toolkit for Transformation" to include a framework for districts to consider as they rewrite job descriptions, roles, and evaluation rubrics for the school librarian. In short, a set of agreed-upon standards that all school libraries and librarians should be working toward. Further, the Committee plans to share success stories that highlight school librarians (and their programs) who are leading, teaching and supporting 21st-century learning initiatives. Additionally, the Committee will help develop a clearer understanding of the role and significance of today's "new-age librarian." To further the goal of creating "future-ready" librarians, the Committee also is exploring the idea of partnering with universities to create micro-credentials around the areas of focus.
Project Connect, sponsored by Follett, is a national initiative to advocate for school libraries and connect powerful school library programs to the needs of successful 21st-century learning. Team members comprise industry thought leaders from the preK-12, professional association, and higher education space, all dedicated to illustrating how librarians can be a solution to the many challenges of a digital transformation.
The Library Leadership Committee is comprised of:
- Jennifer Boudrye (director of library programs, DC Public Schools, Washington D.C.)
- Carolyn Foote (district librarian and high school librarian, Westlake High School, Eanes Independent School District, Austin, Texas
- Mark Ray (chief digital officer,Vancouver Public Schools, Vancouver, Wash.)
- Mary Reiman (director of library media services, Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln, Neb.)
- Scott Smith (chief technology officer, Mooresville Graded School District, Mooresville N.C.)
"The education landscape is changing rapidly, and libraries play a key role in the shift so many schools are making," Foote said. "With their information literacy skills and curriculum connections, tech-savvy librarians are uniquely qualified to collaborate with teachers and administrators to lead schools forward. Follett's partnership will be a significant contribution to support future-ready libraries for our students."
Project Connect's Library Leadership Committee will next gather as part of a focus group in Seattle at the SLJ Leadership Summit in September. Follett's Board Chairman Todd Litzsinger created Project Connect in 2013 and says the Library Leadership Committee symbolizes what Project Connect initially sought to accomplish.
"Project Connect was created to help drive shared knowledge among key leaders as it pertains to the instructional changeover occurring throughout the country," he said. "Focusing on the importance libraries are playing as one of the key cogs in helping drive innovative instruction showcases the human capital and the important technology tools that are keys to the future in educational resourcing within a district."
To learn more about Project Connect, visit www2.follettlearning.com/projectconnect.
About Follett's PreK-12 Business
Follett is the largest provider of educational materials and technology solutions to PreK-12 libraries, classrooms, learning centers and school districts in the United States, and a major supplier to educational institutions worldwide. Follett distributes books, reference materials, digital resources, ebooks and audiovisual materials, as well as pre-owned textbooks. Follett also is one of the leading providers of integrated educational technology for the management of physical and digital assets, the tracking, storing and analyzing of academic data, and digital learning environment tools for the classroom focusing on student achievement.
About Follett Corporation
Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 70,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company.