Thanks for visiting my blog – I’m a Jack of All Trades, so it goes in all kinds of directions. I’m a librarian, so it goes in that direction quite a bit! Scroll down to see my most recent posts.
am I still a librarian?
Periodically, I see districts, schools, and other groups trying to come up with a new name that exactly portrays what we do. I get it. Librarians do EVERYTHING. We want a title (other than super hero) that clearly portrays our job to the world.
Most every profession has changed. Most every professional in most every field has had to take on new and different responsibilities, grow in their technological awareness, and move in directions that just a few years ago, they had no idea would exist. And yet, we still call teachers, principals, salesmen, doctors, lawyers, etc. by the titles they have gone by for years, and everyone understands that their jobs, roles, responsibilities have evolved.
AND here’s what I think has happened in all this effort finding the perfect title in the school library world – no one knows what we do. This pursuit of constantly seeking just the right title has diminished our profession. While people are trying to figure out what to call us, they aren’t thinking about what we do and who we reach. While people are trying to understand the relationship between the media and the library, they assume we no longer have books. Instead of having the opportunity to advocate for libraries in every school, I’m explaining why a school librarian they know is called an information specialist.
I would dearly love for us as a profession to embrace the title of school librarian. Let’s own it. Let’s educate people about what we do. Let’s tell everyone who will listen about the difference school librarian make for students and faculty.
No matter the title, I am a school librarian.
If you’ve never been to a preconference, find one and GO! Conferences usually have sessions that are go, go, go, run, run, run! But a preconference is longer and gives you the chance to really engage with the speaker, topic, and attendees.
So, if you could request any preconference that would be the most beneficial to you as a school librarian, what would it be?
This morning, I’ve been going through my google files. What a mess! I’m a fairly organized person, but keeping up with digital papers is apparently a ridiculous task for someone who touches so many areas of the curriculum. And I’m a jack of all trades with interests in soooo many things. And this is not a problem I have with items I can hold in my hand. Those I can evaluate and toss.
When I taught math and the occasional science course, I could divide things up in courses and then units. There was overlap, but not like this. I had created an archeologist nightmare. I could dig for days to find related files in multiple folders.Virtually identical files were everywhere. Folders were in folders that were in folders. I felt like Alice exploring Wonderland looking at the baffling and unexplainable.
Some decisions have to be made. Topical, seasonal, type of lesson? What made me think I could do all three? Why do I have five copies of this same file? Is this a library skill or a literary skill? Have I ever used this? Will I ever use this? Why in the world did I keep it?
Well, muchis gone now – at least for this moment. But this is truly a digital problem – maybe just mine, but I suspect I’m not alone. I can easily keep it, so I do. At what point will my drive resemble the internet?
I guess I should confess I have the same problem with pictures, but that will have to be tackled another day.
NCSLMA annual conference is this week! We have awesome speakers, authors, vendors. We get to see much missed friends. We get to talk library talk and know everyone will understand!
A ton of effort goes on behind the scenes making this event a happening. Many associations have a paid administrative assistant and may even have a director. NCSLMA is run 100% by volunteers. These volunteers are active in their own libraries and give enormous amounts time to help improve our profession. Thanks to their efforts, we have an exceptional organization to represents us! I want to especially thank Brene Duggins, president-elect and conference chair, and Sedley Abercrombie, president. I’ve learned so much from both and am looking forward to serving with them again next year.
This year, NCSLMA, AASL, and NCLA all have vendor booths. Please stop by and say hello!
Last year was my first at Old Town Global Academy. We spent a lot (did I say A LOT) of time working on procedures and routines. That had a huge payoff semester 2 with quick reviews and lots of action.
I did wonder how much time I’d need to spend getting us back up to par this year. We reviewed procedures. Did they remember them? They did. We practiced movement around the library. Did they move correctly? They did! Bingo! Every 1st – 5th grade class got to spend some time in stations for their first class of the year.
This year, we are going to add components from Ron Clark’s 55 to the mix. Can’t wait to see the results!
I love the start of school! I love seeing my educator friends and getting back into a regular routine. I love the organization and planning. I LOVE seeing the kids again!
So just what does back to school look like for a school librarian?
- Meetings – lots of meetings. Some on campus, some off. Some are online. Some I don’t have to go to, but they are in the library, so I am kind in those too. We meet as a whole school, we meet as librarians, we meet as specialists, we meet as smaller groups of librarians, we meet to talk about curriculum & schedules. We meet as a district. Don’t laugh!
- The district meeting is something I rarely look forward to only because it takes more time away from the library. BUT we always have a fabulous speaker and this year was no different. Ron Clark is incredibly inspiring – he’s innovative and practical.
- Prepping for open house.
- Putting up some bulletin boards.
- Equipment & technology – lots of things have to be checked out to staff. Computers, carts, iPads, and calculators.
- Packing and unpacking materials. We get all kinds of items over the summer or the first week of school.
- This year, we got 160 new chromebooks to be unpacked and distributed.
- Old laptops were gathered and packed up so they can be taken off campus.
- Broken and deprecated technology was gathered and inventoried. Arrangements made for it to be removed.
- Curriculum materials from different departments come through the library.
- Cataloging – some of that stuff we unpacked has to be cataloged BEFORE it can go to its new home at school.
- Helping teachers find books and get equipment. Batteries? Yes, we have those!
- Lesson planning and scheduling (and rescheduling) of classes, as well as long-range plans.
- Planning a few back-to-school surprises for the teachers.
- Ordering books, equipment, and supplies.
- Dealing with glitches – We lost internet the day of open house – all day. I missed an online meeting, and there was no cataloging, no emails. There were scheduling /planning issues because of that. We have an amazing tech staff though. They found the problem and got things back up and running before there was a day two of craziness.
- Last, but by no means least, setting up the library for classes.
*whew* Taking a deep breath for round two of back-to-school. The arrival of Old Town students!
The library should be a place of wonder and excitement. I think it should be very different from everywhere else students go. But there are some definite organizational issues involved with seeing classes all day long, allowing for continuous open check-out, and maintaining your sanity. Enter stations as a sanity saver. First. You have to […]