I stumbled across this book as part of the research for the subject that I am doing - INF506: Social Networking for Information Professionals
Benton, Giovagnoli. (2006). The Wisdom Network: An 8-step process for identifying, sharing and leveraging individual expertise.
A few ideas jumped out at me, as I scanned through the book in regards to Teacher Librarians
Experts in Hiding
Within our school libraries we need energetic and passionate staff if we are going to survive. Gone are the quiet environments where the only focus of the Librarian is the books that they can provide you with. Staff have varied interests, hobbies and passions but are we capitalising on these? Should we? How can we do this without exploiting them? Can we take the mundane tasks away from them and allow them the space to do be able to nurture their passions? Will this make a difference to the way that Teacher Librarians interact with the school community?
The idea of "magnet topics" and how they draw people together and get them discussing. At one point there was an informal gathering of people in the staff room at my school on a Friday afternoon. We would crack open a bottle of red and we would generally talk about work and those "magnet topics". I am not sure when this stopped or why. But those informal networks go offsite now as little cliques, and so do the discussions. Where as before, anyone could join in "pull up a chair and join us", now the topics are being discussed offsite. I have fond memories of the first few years at the school when I could share a glass of red with some of the management team in these informal gatherings and gain a greater understanding of how and why decisions are being made.
I would claim that this has had an impact on how staff network and get to know each other. Magnet topics are also found in social networking sites (this is my area of research at the moment) and ideally a school intranet forum would be used to engage staff in discussion, but then comments from staff will be "on record". Corporate Social Networking tools such as Yammer provide organizations with the interactivity to leverage this new way of communicating without adding unneeded infrastructure.
Sometimes when teachers are fleshing through ideas a formal and structured environment is not the one to do it in. What are your school's "magnet topics" and how can the School Library create this environment to "chew the fat"?
Encouraging leaders within the organisation to initiate their own performance management criterion. How of the middle managers regularly seek feedback from their team? Whist we are talking about professional learning standards for teachers, do our managers have the skills to manage their own performance.
Leading with Evidence is a philosophy that I respect, "give me the data" is a common expression for me. With data we can make informed decisions, we can measure, we can improve.