Quality Management and the Teacher Librarian – pt 1

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikkilynn07/88613509/Quality management is a very large concept to get your head around. While I understand the general idea, it is the principles and the terminology that takes a bit to get the brain around. But I recognize it’s importance. It is what is often missing – the ‘umbrellic’ process that turns visions into reality. It’s the idea of working on the system to improve the service.

The question the ETL504 – “Teacher Librarian as Leader” course asks of us is this:

After reading, explain how the QM model could be used to enhance the management of information services (LRC) provision in a school.

Our first article about TQM (total quality management) was written by Myron Tribus and is the first time I’ve seen someone connected with management speak ‘our language’ — ie. make the distinctions between industry and the education sector. We’ve had presidents/treasurers on school council try to apply some of the TQM principles to our school plans i the past and it just didn’t work. Our school is not a business, it’s not meant to turn a profit (we’re a non-profit organisation), its meant to be viable but more importantly its meant to be successful. The economic success formula just didn’t work. The success of students is even more difficult to measure when you are not interested in test score success, our philosophy is more holistic, dealing with character as well as academic success.

Again this is where the planning process starting with vision is imperative. We need to define what we are aiming for, beyond a mission statement and philosophy. We (our school community) need to look back at the vision we created years ago.

As far as the TL and Information Services in a school are concerned. Our vision for the LRC must marry with the school’s visions and aims. A TL needs to be in touch with the overall principles, aims and objectives and have ones for the Resource Centre.  I guess we’ll be experts and leaders in this because we’ll have to go through the process twice – once for school and again for the LRC. We are like a service within a service.

Photo from flickr courtesy:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/rikkilynn07/88613509/