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Welcome! The Library Department Gets a New Team Member!

By: Lorri Kingan, Media Specialist at Hudson City Schools

So, you are welcoming a new library staff member to your district this year…  Here is a list of 10 ways that you can make the transition for your new team member go smoother!

  1. Deliver a personalized, face-to-face welcome to set the tone for your new work relationship.  If funds permit, consider creating a small gift bag of a few office supplies, maybe some library/reading chachkies, maybe even include a couple of simple snacks and/or drinks.  A simple, kind gesture will go a long way to be sure that this new work relationship begins on a positive note!
  2. Help your new co-worker determine a list of go-to people and their contact information, including your own.  Include full names, job titles, emails, phone extensions and cell numbers, where appropriate.  (Members of the library media team, principals, secretaries, nurses, custodians, fellow teachers, etc.) Also, share what the procedure is for making calls using the school phones.
  3. If appropriate, introduce your new team member to other members of the staff before the year starts.  Just a nice way to alleviate the pressure of the new person having to introduce himself/herself and will allow you to do the honors of a quick introduction highlighting the library team.
  4. Assist in figuring out the physical layout of the building – closest exit, restroom, copier, clinic, fellow-teacher, how to gain access to the building after hours if necessary, etc.
  5. Determine the procedure for emergency situations – what to do for a fire drill, tornado drill, lockdown drill, medical emergency, etc.  Locate the AED’s throughout the building.
  6. If your new staff member is a certified media specialist, identify any specific curricular guidelines that he/she will be responsible for as well as any evaluation process that is in place for the district.  (The principal may have done this already, but it is always helpful to get insight from a co-worker.)  This would be a good time, too to discuss any district initiatives/goals that the media program has for the district.
  7. Share the procedure for the daily operation of the media center – how does scheduling occur, are aides or volunteers a part of the schedule, what does a day for students look like, what are the technology needs, etc.
  8. Determine account accessibility needs – which accounts will the new staff member need access to and who will help him/her set up usernames and passwords.  If this person is involved in purchasing, review these procedures, also.
  9. Review the procedure for an absence – creating a preferred substitute list, creating substitute plans, a substitute folder outlining emergency procedures.  (Again, a principal may have done this already, but any additional advice will be appreciated.)
  10. Lastly, be the resource that you would like to have.  Reassure your new team member that while he/she feels overwhelmed now, stay positive.  Working in a media center is truly an awesome opportunity!