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 New Library Council Will Provide Leadership

​As a way to offer support and leadership to those who work in libraries across the county, the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has organized a library leadership council.

About 15 credentialed librarians from different types of libraries across the county attended the first council meeting April 17 at SDCOE’s main campus. The group includes librarians from elementary, middle and high schools; public libraries; and community college libraries.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to network with people from throughout the county on an issue that’s so important,” said Steve Montgomery, a teacher librarian at El Cajon Valley High School. “It was tremendously helpful for me to meet some of the other librarians from different grade levels.”

The council is led by Jonathan Hunt, SDCOE’s county schools librarian.

The effort is especially important now because of recent changes to academic standards and technology, said Leslie Kelsey, director of SDCOE’s Library Media Services unit, which organized the council. The group can offer higher-level leadership by developing recommendations for superintendents and principals across the county, she said.

The plan is for the council to meet quarterly to discuss trends, innovation, and challenges that can affect libraries. The group will also help advise SDCOE on future professional learning opportunities. Because there are representatives from libraries that serve students of all ages, the group will also discuss ways to ensure that students get the services they need as they move from one level to another.

“Everyone’s in their own library doing their own thing, and we want to see how we can support each other,” said Cindy Dunlevy, a project specialist with SDCOE.