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On the Road with Future Ready Schools: Becoming a Future Ready Librarian in Columbus, Ohio


What does it mean to become a Future Ready librarian?

On Saturday, April 13, one hundred librarians gathered in Columbus, Ohio for a one-day workshop of professional learning, networking, and sharing to help librarians become instructional leaders in their schools and districts – a critical element of success in becoming “Future Ready.”

Future Ready Schools®, led by the Alliance for Excellent Education, hosted the event in partnership with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Library Media Association. Attendees explored the critical role that Future Ready Librarians™ can play in the strategic work of schools and educational systems, providing leadership around educational technology, empowering students as creators and learners, curating content, identifying and implementing innovative instructional practices, and more. 

There was also a surprise special guest in attendance: Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Paolo DeMaria. DeMaria emphasized the importance of collaboration inside and outside of schools and how critical it is to advocate for an enhanced role for librarians. But it didn’t end there. DeMaria participated in an activity exploring the Future Ready Librarians™ framework, and engaged with small groups of librarians as they took deep dives into the framework gears. Topics included collaborative space design, advocating for student privacy, creating inclusive collections, and more.

DeMaria’s presence was deeply appreciated by the librarians in attendance, many of whom took to Twitter to express their gratitude. Check out the tweets below to see their messages and one from DeMaria in response.

After a long day of hard work and sharing, participants left with strengthened library leadership skills, deepened knowledge of the FR Librarians framework, and an excitement for collaborating within their school, district and beyond.

Staying in Touch

You don’t have to wait for a workshop to get engaged with FR Librarians! Learn more about the program, read up on the FR Librarians framework, and check out dates and locations for upcoming FRS Leadership Institutes, which are open to district teams.

Wondering how to cultivate a diverse collection? Register for this upcoming FR Librarians™ webinar, Does My Collection Reflect My Community? Diversity in the School Library, on April 30 at 3:00 pm EDT. In the webinar, panelists will discuss the value of maintaining a book collection that not only reflects the school community, but also is reflective of the global community of which we all are a part.

Lia Dossin is marketing and outreach director, Future Ready Schools