"Now, where are the directions for setting up the projector?" Can you answer, "It's in the procedures book."
Does your media center have an up-to-date and helpful policy and procedures book? Are your essential documents in one place so you can refer to them quickly? Or, do you spend too much time digging for what you need to help you manage efficiently? There is no better time than now to begin compiling your media center's procedures book; it will come in handy!
A procedures book is a collection of documents that explains how your media program operates. It describes or prescribes a preferred, common, and consistent course of action. It is both a practical tool to help you and your staff and a resource that helps define the philosophical basis of your program. It also does the following:
* Helps staff become self-sufficient and efficient. (The media center support staff I regularly meet with compiles many of the documents I give them into procedures books for the media centers they manage.)
* Helps provide continuity when there is a staff change
* Offers guidance for substitutes and volunteers
* Provides answers to your own questions. (Although I no longer work in a specific school media center, I still refer to the contents of the procedures book we developed in my current district position.)
* Provides quick answers to questions from parents and visitors
* Ensures that your essential documents will be accessible in one place
Presents an image of you and the media center as organized and professional. ("Wow! Do you really have to know and do all this?")
You most likely don't have a chunk of time to devote to writing and completing an entire procedures book. Start small. Document by document, your book will grow. Begin by gathering existing documents, even those in draft form.
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