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Several asked for a hit on interview questions for those of us getting new
principals.  I have compiled a list and I might add I got some very good
questions, very well worded.  I have learned that our central office is
only going to allow us to ask very veneric questions so we cannot even ask
anything specific to the library.  I am once again trying to understand the
"wisdom" of the central office.  Seems to me, if we are going to get a
principal that may be with us for years to come, we should be able to
attempt to find out how he/she feels about everything no matter how long it
took.  "OH WELL"

I would want to know what the principal (potential principal) thought the
role of the media specialist was.  If the response was "to teach information
literacy" or any incarnation of that, then I would also want to know how they
felt they could support that role , of course looking for the answer ($$$ for
materials and clerical help). If they answered "to manage the library" or any
incarnation of that , I would have no further questions!

RE:  Suggested Interview Questions

Please begin by giving us a brief autobiographical sketch and a summary of
your professional training and work experience.  What attracted you to this
position?  Based on what you know about the position, which aspects of it
would be most attractive to you?  Least attractive?

What is an important attribute/characteristic that you possess which will
contribute to your success as a Program Facilitator?

How would you describe your style of managing problems and conflict?  If a
problem developed with a staff member, how would you handle it?  With a

What are your thoughts regarding student access to information and
technology in a public school setting?

What strategies will you use to facilitate communication between yourself
and the two departments that are under your administration?

What is your view on the value of professional development opportunities
i.e. conferences, workshops etc.?

As an incoming administrator, please describe the library media center model
you would like to see as part of each building, as well as the role of the
library media specialist.

On what basis do books/materials most often become targets of censorship,
and how would you handle the issue of censorship?

How would you handle budget decisions in regard to new library resources,
equipment and technologies?

What is the last new skill, piece of technology or software you learned?
When was that, and how did you go about learning it?

How do you help apprehensive adults overcome their nervousness about

Describe a class session or teaching unit that would be a good example of
the integration of technology into instruction.

What would a classroom look like that is, indeed, a technology-rich learning
environment? What would the teacher be doing? What would the students be

If you were to be in charge of developing a long-range technology plan, what
pieces would you consider important in this plan ?

What experience have you had using the Internet? How does the Internet fit
into a school setting?  How should it be used?

What is your feeling on e-mail accounts for all enrolled students?

What is your "vision" of technology in education? How does it fit? What will
change in the near future?

This position will require that you work closely with other educators in a
variety of situations, describe qualities you have that make you suited for
this task.   Do you consider yourself a team player?

Where should computers belong in a school environment and why?

Describe one accomplishment of yours (as an administrator) of which you are
extremely proud.

What three adjectives would staff members use to describe you?  What three
adjectives would students use to describe you?

What books have you read for personal enjoyment in the last three months?

What book would you suggest to a professional colleague that you feel is a

What are your personal characteristics and qualities that would be
particularly helpful in fulfilling the  responsibilities of this position?

What professional groups are you a member of, and how active have you been
in those groups?

I was in a similar position a few years ago. My questions?
        What do you think is the role of the library in a school?
        What should be the role of the librarian?

        What book have you read recently?
        He flubbed all these questions in my opinion, but he still got the
job. And in fact, he still has no idea of the role of the library etc.,
and probably still hasn't read a book

I would ask questions about the following topics:
1. scheduling
2. budget
3. student availability to the library
4. how he visualizes seeing library used.
5. his vision of a library program/role of librarian
6. view of teacher/librarian collaboration

These will be real eye openers.

I think I would directly ask the principal his/her vision
of a school library program.  What are the expectations and what provisions
would be made for collaboration.  How would he assign duties to library
personnel (especially cleric/library asst.)?  If I remember correctly you
are at an elementary school so questions about textbooks may not apply.  Our
librarians at middle and high are in charge of textbooks.  Though I don't
have to do textbooks, my assistant does and is not available at beginning
and ending of school year due to textbooks.  And now with the mobility of
our students increasing, she has to spend more and more of her time issuing
and recovering  textbooks daily.  What programs should be coming from the
library.  Would they push for parent volunteers.

I think I would just be matter of fact.

1) How familiar are you with the state standards set for school libraries (&
ask for elaboration).

2) What is your policy regarding scheduling in elementary libraries--i.e.
open access or fixed schedules.

3) In considering budgets, what are the various budget categories you would
anticipate needing to fund for school libraries?

4) How do you envision the ideal library program? What sorts of activities
would you like to see happening in the library? What is the primary purpose
of the library program?

Wanda Nall
Library Media Specialist
Northwest Primary School
400 Moreman
Hereford, TX 79045

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