Vision and Mission Statements
by Robbie Barber
As teacher-librarians/ school librarians/ media specialists/ METIs, we need to pause and reflect on what our purpose is and how to get there. Or, to put it another way, our vision is our purpose and our mission statement is the direction.
Let’s break down the definitions. The Vision statement is what our school libraries will look like when we’re done. The Mission statement is saying how we’re going to get from where we are now to where we want to be in the Vision statement. To help define these, you may want to make a list of you Values or what you believe is good. For example, values in the media center may include serving others, supporting the teachers, and empowering the students. The list may be long. That’s okay. Make the list and then mark the top three things that matter most.
Where do we start? Start by making your values list and deciding what is most important. Then, you should review the school’s vision and mission statement. The Media Center’s vision and mission are tightly related to the mission of the school. Look at other’s examples before you try to draft your own. After you have drafted a new vision /mission statement, ask a group of teachers, parents, and administrators to review. In Georgia, most of us have a Library Media Technology Committee (LMTC) or something similar that is composed of teachers, admin, parents, and students. Bring your ideas to the group. This is a discussion. And it’s one you should have every few years.
After the past several years of upheaval, it may be time to go back over your vision and mission statement. The mission especially (how we’re going to get to the vision) may need revision. Schools are changing and school libraries lead from the middle.
Wendy Cope and Robbie Barber have a conversation about vision /mission called “What’s Your Purpose?” now available on the GLMA Webinar site.