The K-12 Library Connection: 2023-24 Back to School Edition

Building Relationships for a Successful School Year

Welcome Back to School!

On behalf of all of us at the Colorado State Library, I hope that you enjoyed all the joys of summer and are feeling refreshed and ready for the 2023-24 school year! As the CSL School Library Consultant, I am here to support YOU, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions, ideas to share with the larger school library community, and celebrations. To receive weekly updates of CO school library news throughout the school year, please sign up for Colorado School Library (CSL) News You Can Use here.

I hope the questions and resources below will add to your toolbox of ideas for building relationships with students and classroom teachers. Wishing you a wonderful start to the 2023-24 school year!

Building Relationships with Students

Reflection Questions

How will you create an environment that beckons students to enter, engages them to stay, and encourages them to visit often?

How have you planned for students with special needs to have an inclusive experience in your library, such as those who benefit from visual or auditory support, mobility considerations, and sensory accommodations?

How have you planned for English Language Learners to have an inclusive library experience and access resources in their first language?

How will you empower students’ voice and choice?


Barbie and Oppenheimer display ideas 

Libraries Are For Everyone images

The Mindful Librarian (Future Ready Librarians webinar)

Highly Effective Schools Through Libraries (HESTL) Rubric, Program Standard 4: Climate/Environment (Colorado State Library)

Build a Collection and Library Program That Celebrates Diversity and Inclusion (Future Ready Librarians webinar)

Liven Up Your Library: Design Engaging and Inclusive Programs for Teens and Tweens (book by Julia Torres)

Autism Is Welcome Here: Increase Access and Inclusion for Neurodivergent Youth (Shine-a-Light on Innovative Practices webinar)

Empowering ELLs for Self-Sufficiency in the Library (AASL presentation slide deck by Staci Pippin Kottcamp)

Getting Our Destiny Self Check-Out Station Ready as We Kick Off a New Year in the Library! (blog post by Shannon McClintock Miller)

Increasing Student Self-Sufficiency and Ownership at Your Library (HESTL EdCON presentation slide deck by Denise Cushing)

Building Relationships with Teachers

Reflection Questions

How are you inspiring classroom teachers to be library advocates– to collaborate with you, participate in library programming, and encourage their students to be library users?

How are you sharing what services you can provide to support classroom teachers, e.g. curating resources, co-teaching, makerspace opportunities.

How are you promoting the print and digital resources that can support and enhance classroom instruction?

How are you offering professional learning this year, e.g. in the areas of information literacy, digital citizenship, and promoting a love of reading?


Back to School with Future Ready Librarians: Tips and Tricks from the Experts (Future Ready Librarians webinar)

Library Services Menu (created by Kelly Motts Silwani with permission to copy/edit in Canva)

Library Technology Specialist Menu (Canva template created by Sierra Dertinger)

School Library Collaboration Menu  (Canva template created by James Allen)

What I’m Reading/Just Finished/Next in the Stack poster (Canva template by Brandi Hartsell)

Relationship-Building Tips and Resources (Google Doc with editing permissions– please share your own tips and resources with colleagues!)

Sign Up for CSL News You Can Use

Would you like to receive weekly updates of Colorado school library events, professional learning, grants and more? Subscribe here to CSL News You Can Use.

Professional Learning, Aug-Sep 2023

Click here to view program abstracts and registration/login information. Can’t attend the live presentation? Webinars and online courses are free unless otherwise noted ($).

8/17/23 SLJTeen Live! (School Library Journal)

8/24/23  Shannon’s Summer Series on Leadership Part III: Be a Library Leader This School Year (Follett Community)

8/24/23 The Best in Fall Nonfiction – Part I (School Library Journal)

8/29/23  Journalists in the Classroom: Experiential News Literacy Learning (edWeb)

8/30/23  A Censorship Town Hall (School Library Journal)

9/8/23 Educator Wellness Plan Book and Journal: Routines and Strategies for Thriving at Work and at Home! (edWeb)

9/20/23 Enrich Learning with Books Clubs in the Classroom and Library (Follett Community)

9/26/23, 10/3/23, 10/10/23 ($) How to Build an Antiracist Library Culture (School Library Journal)

9/27/23 ($) Censorship and Banned Books: How to Defend Intellectual Freedom  (School Library Journal)