Henrico, Va. Dec. 3, 2019 – For librarians Ann Martin and Kathleen Roberts, a new book on leadership in school libraries was overdue. The two have written a book for school librarians called “Leadership: Strategic Thinking, Decision Making, Communication, and Relationship Building.” Martin retired from HCPS in 2013 and Roberts is the librarian at Rivers Edge Elementary School. They debuted the book at their presentation on leadership during the American Association of School Librarians’ national conference in Louisville Nov. 14-16.
The book is part of a larger trend in school libraries, emphasizing librarians as leaders. In 2017, the association revamped its standards for school libraries, students and librarians, including leadership as a major focus.
As part of the new emphasis, the two librarians collaborated on the new volume to make the school library standards more accessible to librarians. Martin has a long history of expertise in leadership, and Roberts served on the board that updated the American Association of School Librarians standards. Some of the examples they use in the book stem from their work in HCPS libraries.
“In order to have positive effects in their communities, school librarians need to spearhead initiatives in their own libraries,” said Martin. “That requires clearly defined strategies, guidelines and practices like the ones we discuss. Without those, school librarians become receivers of information instead of leaders.”
“We hope the book will make the new standards more accessible, and help school librarians realize how using them can improve their broader leadership style,” said Roberts.
Martin served for nine years as HCPS’ specialist for library services, and before that was a school librarian in Chesterfield County schools. She has served as president of the American Association of School Librarians as well as the Virginia Association of School Librarians. She served as a mentor for the Lilead Project, a library leadership program, and has garnered a host of honors in school librarianship, including leading HCPS to a designation as the nation’s top school library program in 2011. She regularly speaks on leadership at conferences. Martin has authored two other books, collaborated on a third and has contributed to five professional journals. She graduated from Radford University before earning a master’s from The George Washington University.
Roberts has been school librarian at Rivers Edge since 2008, and taught civics for four years at Henrico’s Brookland Middle School. She is a member of the Standards and Guidelines Editorial Board of the American Association of School Librarians, and has conducted a webinar for the organization. She was an American Library Association “Emerging Leader” in 2013, and has contributed articles to professional magazines. In 2018, she was selected to take part in the Fulbright Specialist Program, a cultural, academic and professional exchange program. She graduated from the University of Mary Washington before earning master’s degrees from VCU and Longwood University.