School Librarian's Role in Reading Toolkit

Elevator Speeches

Thirty seconds and 100-150 words

An effective elevator pitch generally answers questions such as:

  • What the product, service, or project is.
  • What it does for the buyer, investor, or sponsor (e.g. the benefits).
  • Who you are and why you will be successful.

Designed to get a conversation started:

  1. Concise
  2. Clear
  3. Compelling
  4. Credible
  5. Conceptual
  6. Concrete
  7. Consistent
  8. Customized
  9. Conversational


SL Colleagues

The bar for 21st-century literacy is set higher for today’s students than for any previous generation. We know that students, who are unmotivated to engage with texts, do not enjoy reading, or cannot read proficiently, will not make use of the rich array of resources available through our print-rich library programs. We increase students’ motivation and engagement of text through integrated literacy events and initiatives. As collection developers, we have the responsibility to offer an exciting selection of reading materials in all genres and formats. In partnership with classroom teacher colleagues, we integrate these resources into the taught curriculum. We also integrate reading comprehension strategy lessons into cotaught inquiry units to give students opportunities to develop as strategic, self-regulating readers and learners. Like all educators, SL must be involved in improving students’ proficiency, motivation, and enjoyment of reading. How can we strengthen our roles on our schools’ literacy teams? (151 words)

Classroom Teachers and Other Specialists

I am your partner in promoting reading and teaching literacy skills. There are many ways in which we can work together to positively impact students’ engagement with texts and improve their reading proficiency. We can collaborate to gear the monthly literacy events/school-wide literacy initiatives sponsored through the library program to the interests and needs of students and your classroom curriculum. When we plan for instruction, I will contribute ideas related to the wide variety of texts available in our library and beyond. Together, we can determine which reading comprehension strategies can help students improve their skills. We can coteach lessons in which we model strategies and jointly monitor students’ guided practice. We can give students more individualized attention. We can integrate strategy lessons into inquiry-based units so that students can practice strategic reading while engaging in authentic learning experiences. What concept will you be teaching next? When can we get together to do some planning? (Words 155)


Like you, I am concerned about our students’ reading proficiency. Some of our teachers do not see themselves as teachers of reading, but I do and that’s where I can help you and our school reach our goals for achievement in reading. Students must find relevance in what they read, and I’m committed to helping our teachers select the most engaging resources to teach their curricula. Students must be strategic readers in order to learn from library resources, to read the Web, to succeed in class, and in life. The strategies we coteach through the library program are 21st-century skills. I will work with our entire faculty to involve them in literacy initiatives and teaching reaching comprehension skills in order to ensure that students make meaning, think critically, and produce knowledge from the ideas and information with which they interact. For my evaluation this year, will you observe me coteaching reading comprehension during an inquiry unit? (Words 156)


Being an engaged, proficient reader is critical to your child’s/student’s success in school as well as in life. To that end, the library is open before and after school and during lunch in order to give students the greatest possible access to the rich resources in our collection and beyond. In addition to reading and checking out books, students come to the library for a wide variety of purposes. They access the Internet, download and complete homework, conduct small group work, meet friends, and play educational games. The literacy events held throughout the year are designed to increase students’ engagement with texts and ideas. Middle school/high school/college-level reading will require that youth make meaning from increasingly sophisticated texts. I coteach reading comprehension with classroom teachers so that students can practice these strategies while exploring classroom curriculum. I will be responsible for evaluating some of your child’s/student’s work as well. What questions do you have about our library program? (158 Words)


O'Leary, Chris. 2009. "Elevator Pitch 101." Elevator Pitch Essentials. <> (accessed October 11, 2009).
Wikipedia. 2009. "Elevator Pitch." <> (accessed October 11, 2009).

back to main page