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Empowering Learning Through Leadership: Administrative Support

Update December 2020:
This web page is a companion to the 2016 version of the School Library Program Rubric. NYSED released an updated School Library Program Rubric in December 2020.

Student Snapshot: Student achievement is increased through administrative and community support of the library media program.

Dr. Judi Moreillon (2014) of the Texas Library Association of School Librarians states, “School librarians need the support of principals and a collaborative school culture in order to thrive and contribute to the best of their ability. Taking a systems approach and engaging with collaborative partners makes it possible for school librarians to participate in and positively impact the academic program of schools…. School administrators can demonstrate their support for school librarians by providing them with flexible schedules, shared planning time with teachers, and sufficient qualified support staff allowing librarians to collaborate and co-teach with classroom teachers in the library, lab, classroom, athletic field, or in whatever location is most appropriate for the instruction. School librarians also need support from their principals to serve as on-site professional developers who provide in-services for classroom teachers.”

Source: Nelson, Janet. "Principals' Perspectives on the Value of School Librarians." Web log post. Ideas Inspiration from Demco. Demco, Inc., 15 Dec. 2014. Web.

Citation for Photo: Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography.

29 May 2014. Flickr.

This photo is used with permission from Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography.

In Practice

Collaborative Relationships with Principals

Description: This article provides useful insight on working with your principal to develop your school’s library program. The practices outlined can be used to highlight your leadership skills and how the principal and other staff members can support you.

Resource/Citation: Moreillon, Judi. "Collaborative Relationships with Principals." School Library Monthly, vol. 31, no.3, 2015, pp. 27-28.

Power Up! The New School Library

Description: Written with the administrator in mind, this article shares the changing role of the school library, how school libraries are thriving even in the digital age and the importance of staffing a school library with a certified school library media specialist.

Resource/Citation: Johnson, Doug. “Power Up!/The New School Library.” Educational Leadership, October,  2013.

In Theory

Principals’ Perspectives on the Value of School Librarians

Description: This article discusses the project from Judi Moreillon and Teresa Starrett that was presented at the Texas Library Association’s Conference in 2014. The project concerns the perceptions that school principals have about school librarians and their impact on student success.

Resource/Citation: Nelson, Janet. "Principals' Perspectives on the Value of School Librarians." Ideas and Inspiration at Demco Inc., December  2014.

The librarian-principal relationship

Description: Carolyn Foote speaks to the fact that the “principal's mission isn't about preservation of "the library" but about creating the best spaces for students to learn and to showcase the best of our students” and advocates for librarians to assume leadership within their building to cultivate collaboration with the principal to achieve that mission.

*Resource/Citation: Foote, Carolyn. "The librarian-principal relationship." Teacher Librarian, vol. 42, no. 4, 2015.

AASL Advocacy Brochures: School Library Programs - Improve Student Learning

Description: School Administrators are pivotal in fostering school library programs as a strategy to improve student learning. As the instructional and managerial leaders, school administrators are the key decision makers in allocating resources to meet the district priorities in education students. This brochure from the American Association of School Librarians outlines goals and key questions administrators and librarians can discuss.

Resource/Citation: American Association of School Librarians. “School Library Programs Improve Student Learning”. American Association of School Librarians, 2011.

Seven Steps to an Award Winning School Library Program

Description: This book discusses how librarians can accomplish positive change when efforts are guided by best practices. Theorizes that librarians who are put in the position of acting as change agents are often stymied as segments of the learning community push back against the introduction of new resources, technologies, and program initiatives, yet shows how these barriers to change can be overcome so that a library program can be transformed.

Resource/Citation: Martin, Ann M. Seven Steps to an Award-winning School Library Program. Libraries Unlimited, 2012.


Name: Stacey Rattner


Bio: Stacey Rattner, school librarian at Castleton Elementary School, has a 100% flexibly scheduled library and collaborates with almost every classroom teacher in her building. Stacey works side by side with her principal, Jason Chevrier the 2015 winner of the Beatrice E. Griggs Elementary Administrative Award (SSL) for his unconditional support of the school library program.

*To access restricted database articles speak with your school librarian or public librarian.