Thursday, March 15, 2012

Building an Insurance Policy

Recent budget cuts have come a little too close for comfort. Although I think my position is safe for another year, chances are good that we've got a ways to go before we get to stop worrying about annual layoffs. 

I think my building knows that I'm valuable, but I'm worried about people outside of my building that I don't interact with on a regular basis. Below is the list I've posted above my computer:


I'm hoping it serves as a constant reminder to make contact with these people on a regular basis. 

* The board - I'll make sure every member gets a copy of my monthly newsletter. Our library is also frequently featured by local news outlets, so I'll also include copies of these clippings in the mailings. 

* Parents - I've always found it tough to communicate with parents. Any other secondary librarians struggle with this? I see many different kids, but only in short chunks of time, so I don't get to know the students as well as other teachers do. Therefore, I don't feel like I have a **reason** to contact parents. 

At the moment, I currently maintain a Library Facebook page, which I encouraged parents to join during Open House back in September (only 1 actually did), and I always post updates and photos on our library Web site. 

I'm definitely feeling a need to bump this up, so my new goal is to e-mail three parents every week and share something great about their kids. I can access parent e-mails through our student data system, so it's easy to jot off something quickly. I frequently take photos of kids working on different projects, so I've been attaching those to the e-mails or including links to finished products. So far, I've only heard back from 1 parent. I think the parents just aren't checking their e-mails .  .  . Time for a new strategy?

* The Superintendent - I think she gets it, but I can do a better job communicating our activities in the library. She's also been added to the list to receive a monthly copy of our newsletter.

What are you doing differently to build your professional insurance policy in times of budget threats?

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