By Debi Tice
When the opportunity to attend the School Library Leadership Academy presented itself, I didn’t hesitate to sign-up. 2018 was to be one of the few summers I would spend in state. I was blessed with the opportunity to visit with forward-thinking, future ready librarians who are as excited about professional development opportunities as I am.
I came away with so many ideas and goals that I am feeling overwhelmed with where to start. One very helpful tool to get me started, however, is Shannon McClintlock Miller’s “goal chart” that has the Future Ready Librarian’s framework in a Google Sheets that is ready to go! She also shared the FRL framework that is in a cross-walk with ISTE standards! Soon to come is the additional AASL standards cross-walk, where all three will be combined.
In the process of self-reflection, I want to share my goals and ideas for the beginning of the year, hoping they may serve as inspiration. One idea came from the Future Ready standard “space”. After thinking extensively about how to make a MakerSpace space that is convenient, attractive, central to the library space, etc. I have decided to re-purpose our central library circulation desk and eliminate it as a “librarian” space and make it a space for students and staff to access materials that are important for them.
Another goal of mine has been to integrate the reference materials that are cataloged as “in house check out only” into the circulating non-fiction. In conjunction with this, I will collaborate with teachers and consider creating “unit” checkouts. Often teachers will ask for their “elements” cart or ‘ancient Egypt’ cart of books to be checked out and brought to their classroom. These books are usually in several places throughout the library collection and the time it takes to gather those materials could be streamlined by creating unit shelving. These books are rarely if ever checked out except by the teacher, so creating a collection shelving that would free up time for other tasks would be ideal.
I also want to take the opportunity this year to create a set of bookmarks that will have all the information for a “library in your pocket”. Instead of giving the returning 7th and 8th grade students a repeat orientation, I want to have them bring their own devices and ‘bookmark’ or download apps that will allow them access to the library 24/7. I also hope to have the library Instagram/Facebook account up and running and hope to have the students and teachers follow us.
Another goal is the creation of bookmarks that can be left any and everywhere our students and families can be found. Let’s call it “guerilla advocacy”. Places for the bookmarks include the gym for sporting events and other assemblies like ‘back to school night’ and the front office counter. Bookmark contents can include “best apps” of 2018, how to be safe online tips, etc. I will also have our iPevo portable smartboard/document camera setup on a cart that can be mobile and checked out for students and teachers. Training sessions will be offered on a regular basis for both staff and students. They will also be able to use the iPevo setup in the library where there will be a station for them to collaborate and present.
The last thing I want to implement is a rotating station of “cool” things next to the library copier. Often copy jobs will take teachers and students some time to complete. By putting up a computer with headphones and a “playlist” of TedTalks or podcasts like science Friday or RadioLab, teachers can get instant PD! The ideas are endless: school events, a running slide show of new resources, new apps to try, and/or videos/images our students and teachers at work.
Best wishes for a great 2018/19 school year!