Happy early Valentine’s Day everyone! This isn’t, however, the kind of meeting love to which I refer…
Meetings. Based on the sentiments that find their way into my various social media feeds and on the copious number of hours I spend watching half-hour sitcoms and ‘tween dramedies (Dance Academy from Australia on Netflix … Highly recommended for fans of ‘tween dramedy! LOL!), most people don’t like meetings. Meetings, it seems, are places where good ideas go to get morphed into unworkable plans that make nobody happy.
This is, apparently, how we are supposed to feel about meetings:
I don’t know about you, but as a librarian I LOVE meetings!
WAIT! Please don’t stop reading yet!
As I see it, every meeting with a faculty member is an opportunity to:
- Help my faculty see the value of the kind of information skills I want to teach.
- Schedule sessions where we get to book captive audiences to hear about the latest and greatest information products and services coming soon to a library near them (otherwise known as library lessons).
- Work with teachers to shape assignment requirements in ways that allow for introduction of new skills or tools and/or builds on skills or tools that we have been previously introduced.
Our wonderfully supportive administration recently scheduled a faculty meeting for the library staff to be able to do some professional development with our high school faculty.
We developed our meeting agenda with an eye to achieving four main goals:
- Introducing our full high school faculty to Libguides.
- Introducing our full high school faculty to our online course on citation and MLA formatting.
- Addressing that old misperception common to many of us in independent schools that, “Everything is online now and we have 1:1 devices so we don’t need to have kids work with the librarians anymore…”
- Booking follow-up meetings with as many teachers and teaching teams as two librarians can possibly book.
Because Mid-Pacific has entered a research partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education focusing on educating students for life in a global society and good amount of time and energy have been invested in this endeavor, global education seemed like a very natural starting point to bring the some of the murkiness of “information literacy” into clear relief for a faculty with broadly differing content-area interests.
Last May, Alan November posted the very thought provoking, Past Google’s First Page: Gauging Students’ Global Search Skills, where he outlined the kind of very sophisticated search strategies that our students will need to be able to think through and execute if they are to be fully information literate citizens of the world. I loved his piece and thought it to be just the kind of content that we should be aiming to teach. I’d be lying, however, if I said that I didn’t find the goal for which he is asking us to aim to be big, scary, and audacious!
Well as it turned out, Mr. November’s search task made for a great jumping off point for discussing search skills and information literacy with a roomful of really smart faculty who (quite reasonably) think that they are, indeed, very good searchers!
We started our meeting by sending our teachers to a Libguide with an assignment:
While our teachers didn’t have enough time to truly complete the research task, they got far enough down the road to be able to discuss the search strategies employed by their groups. We then took the opportunity to talk about the Libguide platform and then the search strategy presented by Alan November.
If you’re interested, the slideshow to our full meeting is available here:
A while ago, I asked the amazing librarians on the AISL list to share some of the projects that they were teaming on with English, Science, and Math teachers. We did our best to pepper our presentations with real-world examples of projects taking place in other independent schools. Teachers LOVED hearing about the project ideas so a huge, “ALOHA!” to all of you who took time to share your wonderful ideas!
In the end, the response from our faculty has been amazing! We currently have 107 high school students that have been enrolled in our online course on citation and MLA formatting; we’ve gotten requests to develop Libguides for teachers in Science, English, and MPX (our interdisciplinary program); and we have teachers in Fine Arts, Social Studies, and World Languages who have spoken to us about projects they’d like to develop together in the near future. We’ve got a good number of meetings on the horizon!
I all honesty, putting this meeting together was mentally exhausting, and indeed–truly terrifying. In the end, though, I could not have hoped for a better outcome.
I’ll leave it here because … I’ve got a meeting to get to!