By: Julie Seboe, District Librarian at Loudonville-Perrysville Exempted School District
When I accepted the job of Library Director at Loudonville-Perrysville School District four years ago, I decided I needed a way to communicate with the teachers on a regular basis. I knew I could visit their content based team meetings, but I also knew it was impossible to get to all of them each month. I was told that many of the teachers didn’t know what happened in the library and therefore didn’t use it. I needed to change that! I also desired to keep my job as Librarian, so I knew it was important to keep the principals and superintendent abreast of what I was doing and how the library was being used by students and teachers.
This is when my monthly “Library Links” newsletter was born. I researched many different ways to design it and get it into the hands of the teachers. I knew it couldn’t be delivered through their email because most teachers would delete it without even opening the attachment. Once I decided on putting it in their mailboxes each month, I knew it had to be catchy and colorful or it would get thrown into the recycling bin before they left the office.
My first newsletter basically described to the teachers who I was, what the newsletter would be about, and how I could assist them with their teaching. From there, I began adding in technology tips, new Web 2.0 tools, new apps, new books we received, tips on using INFOhio, and things I have been doing with other teachers in the district. Soon after the first issue was out, I realized that I needed to make a different newsletter for each building so that it was geared specifically to the grades that those teachers taught. I am fortunate that I only have three buildings in my district, so the task isn’t too difficult. I also make sure to send a copy of all three newsletters to the superintendent each month and ask him to share them with the school board.
Do all the teachers read it each month? No. I’m sure most of them don’t read it. But, every once in awhile I will have a teacher come up to me and say things such as, “Hey, can you show me how to log into that website you had in your newsletter?” or, “I read that you are doing book talks, can you come to my classroom and do them?”, or even, “I have a great app you should put in your next monthly newsletter! I will email it to you.”.
So, even though I might only be reaching a few of the teachers, I still hold out hope that the other ones might see something that grabs their attention before they throw it into the recycling bin.