Patrons Your Library Serves:
Share a transformation at your library that you are most proud of.
A couple of summers ago, the library went from white walls, to almost every color of the rainbow. The goal of making people grin when they enter the library has been achieved … they either love the color scheme, or think it’s silly, but most people smile! Also cable has been hung above the book shelves so that student artwork can be displayed (collaboration with the art teacher has been wonderful). Other collaboration has been with our seventh grade social studies teacher who encourages to use books as a resource for research, and she also encourages her kids to utilize the library as a work area for class projects. The library is meant to be a resource for both students and teachers, and more of the faculty is starting to realize what the library has to offer them too.
Describe your library’s most innovative or most successful service or program.
The most successful program has definitely been Ancient Egypt night which allowed Social Studies students to set up exhibits in their classroom and the library for an Ancient Egypt Museum. Prior to the special evening, the library provided some research books and an Ancient Egyptian pathfinder that I put together for students to utilize as they did their research. There was incredible attendance for the museum, and the children were so proud of their displays, showing off their knowledge by explaining details about each exhibit. The library counters and tables were ideal for many projects, and a back room proved to be the perfect place for an Ancient Egyptian tomb. It was a wonderful evening for everyone involved.
How does your library connect with your community?
Our school has switched over to student-led conferences, where children show each class on their Leadership Notebook website, complete with artifacts and reflections about their class progress. These conferences take place in the student’s homeroom, and teachers are available to encourage and supervise. The library helps out with free child care for siblings who must often tag along to these conferences. This is a win/win situation since the conference student is able to get the parents’ undivided attention, and the siblings have fun playing board games or computer games in the library.
What is your library’s vision for the future?
I would like the library to become the real hub of the school, a place for more students to utilize before school and during school, as well as the “go to” place for collaborative work with teachers. Everyone seems to benefit when teachers and librarians work together. There is the knowledge base of two educators coming together, along with the smaller teacher: student ratio that results when collaborating. So my vision encompasses more collaboration and bigger projects that make learning more fun and more “hands on” which allows students to remember information even better. I would also like parents to become more involved with their children’s learning through fun and educational evenings that will involve the library.
How do you stay inspired?
The students always inspire me, along with teachers who put students’ needs above their own. I am also trying to keep updated with technology and utilize great ideas from other librarians.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for your fellow librarians?
Connection with students is everything. We need to know kids in order to connect them with books they will enjoy. If kids do not enjoy reading, they will not become lifelong readers!!!