Collections > Master's Papers > School of Information and Library Science > Collaborative Partnerships: Identifying and Engaging Teachers for Collaboration in an Elementary School Setting

School media specialists need strategies to help them implement Information Power's directive to become instructional partners with teachers. This study investigated whether concepts of "opinion leadership" might inform the suggested strategy of "starting with one teacher" to initiate collaboration. Focused interviews and analysis of relevant scheduling books were conducted with five elementary school media specialists to explore whether, and how, they identified and worked with opinion leader teachers to increase collaboration. To varying degrees, all interview participants reported experiences with opinion leader teachers and considered them an important link in influencing other teachers and encouraging teacher/librarian collaboration. Excluding age and experience level, the following characteristics of opinion leader teachers were identified: a willingness to seek help to meet student's needs, an interest in trying new ideas, enthusiasm for media and technology related materials, a high degree of involvement in the school, involvement in skill building classes and workshops, and strong teaching skills. Recommendations for identifying and working with opinion leader teachers are included.