School’s out….

Today is the last day for our students and tomorrow is the last day for teachers.  As much as I dislike our early start of the year (we report back at the beginning of August), it is nice to be done with school by Memorial Day.  This is always a time of reflection for me as I review the previous school year and (attempt) to clear my head for next year’s planning. This year has been one of growth and change for me.  Frankly, at this time last year I was disheartened, and I entered the summer with uncertainty.  I was not sure how I fit into the vision for the school.

Original artwork by former teacher, displayed in MS Library. I found myself contemplating this piece many times over last summer.

My day-to-day activities changed as I moved into the middle school library full time.  I was able to fully collaborate with the 6th grade students and teachers and build a scaffold for both technology and library instruction.  The year also brought the opportunity to build personal relationships with teachers in the other two grades with the goal of deeper collaboration next year. I am happy to say that the uncertainty that I felt last summer has disappeared.

As I reflect on the 2023-2024 school year there are definite wins!

  • Regular meetings with all 6th grade students.  During English class, we met twice per month during the first semester and at least once per month in the second semester.  We worked together to hone citation skills, basic evaluation of digital resources, and work on building effective notecards.  Additionally, I met with these students during Science class beginning in October.  I became an embedded librarian for the duration of their science fair research project.
  • Increased circulation of library books. For the past 6 years, I was only part time in the middle school which made it difficult to consistently promote reading and check out of books.  With an increased presence and more opportunity to talk books with kids circulation increased by 15% over the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Connections with students. The library became a “third space” for a significant number of students before school and during our morning break.  Getting to know my regular visitors was such a treat.  We connected over books, I learned more about what was going on in their lives outside of school, and several of them became unofficial library helpers.  When shelving books moved to the back burner, these kids jumped in and helped me empty by shelving cart.

What does the 2024-2025 school year bring? I’m not entirely sure.  I have a great relationship with my building administration and feel fully supported in the library activities.  I have a few big programming ideas that I am working on implementing and I have plans to increase my collaboration with classroom teachers.  But first…..I’m going to work on my personal summer reading list! 

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