I started working at my hometown library when I was 16 and have been working in libraries ever since. The library was my happy place as a teen and in my first year as a school librarian, I hope to bring that feeling to an entire school of teens and teachers alike.
Staff and students were used to a traditional model of library service so one of the first things I had set out to do was learn more about what they wish the library offered. I created surveys for both teachers and students, introduced myself at department meetings, and opened my doors with a smile to every request to use the library. Downloadable audiobooks were added through RAILS and eRead Illinois through a newly created website. I have been working closely with our English Department on several projects and have been lucky enough to schedule class visits and booktalks to the library. Video walkthroughs have been created and shared with remote classes and SEL work maintained through a Canvas course. All in the first semester!
Teachers and students have responded positively to the efforts with visits during lunch and study hall increasing as time went on and continued requests for class visits and library lessons. I hope that everyone who I come into contact with can see that my hope for the library is to be open and welcoming to many different needs. The services we provide will grow and change based on what users are looking for. Making a library for everyone rather than following a strict plan really does create a library for everyone.
- Start small: Don’t expect every teacher to be ready to work with you, find a few to work with and let them tell the other teachers how easy it is!
- Follow through: Don’t over commit and finish what you say you will.
- Ask questions: You might find connections in places you least expect.
- Say yes whenever you can: Offer suggestions or adaptations if you don’t think you can meet the expectations of what is being asked.
Our guest blogger today is Jessica Parker. Jessica is the Library Media Specialist at Kaneland High School. She is also a member of the My Library Is... Advisory Team.