Planning for the New School Year: An Essential Library Program Planner (with bonus social media planner!)
I know, I know! For many of us, it's way too early to want to think about planning for this upcoming school year. It's that feeling when you walk into Target and the back to school section is in full bloom. Heart racing and palms sweating...It's a lot for those of us who want to relax and recharge.
For school librarians, though, we can't wait until August to begin planning out programming for our patrons. Guest speakers, authors, or community organizations do not operate on a summer break, so if you want to book someone (especially for a lower cost!) you need to book early. Not to mention we all know how preplanning goes in terms of our planning - there is none. If your experience is anything like mine, your preplanning is full of meetings, helping teachers, coplanning lessons, offering technology PD, and more (*cough* fixing the laminator for the 20th time *cough*). It's ten times harder if you do not have a parapro. Program planning then takes a backseat and can end up being rushed or not done at all.
School libraries are community hubs meant to inspire connection, exploration, and creation. That takes intentional planning. I do a mix of passive programming (ex: placing legos with a prompt) and intentional programming (ex: one book, one school) throughout the year. Sometimes these programs are last minute because of a culture phenomenon like a Tik Tok Open Mic morning, but most of the time, I plan months in advance so I can arrange volunteers, teacher participation, a marketing plan, and plan for any costs.
I created this planner when I saw a need to put more intention behind my planning for programs and to help our Student Library Advisory Board think through the ins and outs of a successful program. I hope it helps you whether you use it now or later!
Tech tip: I download these planners and upload to my school library OneNote Notebook and use the drawing tool/text features to add my ideas and plans. Use the canva templates below to tweak what you need and download as a png file or pdf depending on what tech tool you use!
Ready to Print Resources
School Librarian Advocating for Student Voice in Metro Atlanta