Lesley Farmer capped seven years as a member of the Educational Psychology, Administration and Counseling Department last fall with the publication of her 20th book, Collaborative Leadership and Support: Working with Administrators and Support Personnel.
“This new book talks about how to foster collaborative leadership between administrators and librarians,” said Farmer, who joined the university in 1999.
“What hasn’t been stressed up to now is what library media teachers can do for administrators. When librarians fight to survive in a Google world, tapping their expertise to further the school community’s mission is a good way to become indispensable. For example, if a grant proposal needs background research, the library media teacher can do that. If an administrator needs a paper on the benefit of instructional design or school reform, a library media teacher can do that. It’s all about what each stakeholder brings to the table. And in light of a shrinking state education budget, this book is especially timely.”
Farmer is the author of such titles as Technology-Infused Instruction for the Educational Community: A Guide for School Library Specialists; Student Success and Library Media Programs: A Systems Approach to Research and Best Practice; Digital Inclusion, Teens, and Your Library: Exploring the Issues and Acting on Them; and How to Conduct Action Research: A Guide for Library Media Specialists. Other titles include Teaming with Opportunity: Media Programs, Community Constituencies, and Technology and Collaborative Learning Activities in the Library Media Center.
In 2005, she was awarded the Gold Disk Award from Computer-Using Educators, and was invited to teach library science courses at the University of Hong Kong. She earned her B.A. in English from Whitman College and her master’s in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She served a stint in the Peace Corps where she worked in Tunisia. She received her doctorate from Temple University in Philadelphia in 1981 and later joined Virginia Commonwealth University before serving as K-12 library director and adjunct faculty at San Jose State.
In her new book, Farmer urges greater cooperation between librarians and their administrative and service support staff counterparts.
“If we work together, we can exert more leverage on the many issues that face us in the 21st century,” she said. “Test scores won’t improve if schools do not pay attention to the whole student, and that includes what library media teachers have to offer.”