The end of the year is here and it's time for good-byes and well wishes. It's been a good year and we all have accomplished a lot and served our students well.
In this blog post I will address my future goals as your librarian here at IMMS and how I hope to support our collective goal of producing "life-long learners who will excel in our changing world and competitive workplace." I've tried to instill a love of reading in our students through book promotions such as the Ticket to Reading Rewards Program and by showing book trailers that capture the excitement of reading a good story. We've purchased the newest and most popular titles. Currency and relevancy captures young readers. Do the students want to read it? Free choice in pleasure reading is so important. It doesn't matter if we show-off the newest apps and technology if we bypass the fundamental fact that reading is the key. I truly believe that there is a book for everyone. We need to encourage students to make the effort to make that connection. Whether they connect with an eBook, an audio book or a regular book doesn't matter. If they're reading, they are progressing, learning and forming the foundation they need to perform in all subject matter areas. Students have the opportunity to keep reading this summer. EBooks have been a focus this year and I'm happy to say that we've seen a huge increase in readership this year (166% increase from last year). Encouraging our students to find books they love in all formats will be a continuing goal for me as your librarian next year.
Goal #2 - Collaborating with YOU
Collaboration is about trust and having a common goal. Understandably, building trust takes time and it takes communication. I was a teacher for many years, so I know how busy teachers are and how much students need them, so sometimes finding the time to communicate can be difficult. I hoped to break the ice with many of you during the luncheons we had in the library this year.
One thing that I'd like to share with you all is our many resources for every subject. These resources can make your lesson planning much easier. I was happy to see that many of you regularly use Discovery Ed. Streaming, which is a wonderful resource. We have many other resources, including databases and unlimited use (your whole class could use at once) eBooks. Of course we also have traditional print books which I'm happy to pull for your personal or class use. Our catalog can be accessed anytime and anywhere you have Internet access. We can do more for you than just laminate and provide computers for students who break or forget theirs!
We do have a small library, but it is possible, with planning, to find a time for your class to come to the library, or for me to come to you. I have done database and other presentations in the classroom when meeting in the library was not possible. Again, it's all about our students and serving you as teachers does benefit our kids. I look forward to working with you next year. If you have any ideas, shoot them my way!
Goal #3 - Recreating the Library Environs
This goal will make the library more user-friendly - a place the kids want to be. Irma Marsh is slated to get a new library, like the other new CISD libraries. Until that date, I still believe we need to work with what we have to create the most inviting, user-friendly library possible for our students because every student is valuable and deserves the best we can offer. Some things I plan on doing are:
- 1. Genrefying the library. This simply means that the library will be organized by genre rather than the traditional Dewey Decimal, alphabetical, author last name system. Students know that they like Realistic Fiction or Fantasy. They don't necessarily have a particular author in mind. This organizational approach is more similar to the Barnes an Noble prototype, where the patron is the purchaser. Service is the common denominator here. How can we best serve our students?
- 2. Creating a Makerspace or Makerspace Activities. Maker spaces are simply do-it-yourself spaces where students can get together to create and learn through the creative process. Sometimes these creative spaces are crafty. Sometimes they have a more STEM based bent and include coding, robotics and 3D printing. I would like to collaborate with teachers and admin. to develop a program/space that would best fit the needs of our school community.
- 3. Planning the future library. What do we want in our new middle school library? I have lots of ideas, but I want to get input from teachers. The library is the heart of the school and belongs to everyone.
Always, always professional development! We as educators must model and embrace learning. My professional learning network includes:
- 1. Attending the Texas Library Association Conference and other similar conferences sponsored by Castleberry ISD, Region XI or other Library organizations.
- 2. Continually reading new books to be knowledgeable about what to purchase and recommend to our students. (This is a fun goal, but more difficult than you would think.)
- 3. Revisiting previously learned computer apps. and practicing their implementation.
- 4. Collaborating with and learning from other librarians.