Besides getting used to “school during a pandemic combined with a battle of the face mask (I am in Florida),” I also changed jobs this year. I moved from one private 6-12 school to a K4-12 private school. The exciting thing is that not only do I get to specialize in the middle school, but I get to be a part of a library TEAM. There are three of us at my new school in each of our respective libraries.
As evidenced by the fact that my blog entry is pretty much a week late, I am clearly still wading into this new school year. In addition to getting used to a brand new school, new co-workers, HUNDREDS of new students, and new procedures, I am realizing how much work I had put into my previous position of defining library expectations and procedures.
Which, if you think about it, is pretty cool. There’s nothing like being faced with the fact that you made a difference in a reading/library community. Now, the goal is to forge ahead in my new middle school library.
I’m getting used to a new collection, new students, new teachers, and new tools. I’m gathering up all the knowledge I learned from my fellow librarians and working on putting it to good use. My new library has ladders, did I mention that? I can pretend to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast whenever I want.
So, for all the newbies and folks starting in a new position, I’m reaching out to our seasoned librarians asking for your advice and helpful hints and tricks since we are a community who shares best practices. What has worked for you with students and teachers alike? What are your favorite programs to promote reading? How have you gotten new faculty to adopt citation strategies and database usage? You know, just some simple questions. (Lol)
Here’s to an amazing year that provides more successes than challenges.
Good luck and I hope you revisit this with an update later in the year! To new librarians, I can’t echo Reba’s statement enough about how much time and energy is spent in early years defining library expectations and procedures!
Something that isn’t groundbreaking but is important to me is this. Be where the teachers are (faculty room, halls, etc) and listen to what they are trying to accomplish and then find a way to help them accomplish their goals more efficiently. This kind of open-minded listening can be helpful not only for those new to a school but also for seasoned librarians working with teachers new to “your” school. If you can listen to people’s goals and motivations, it’s a lot easier to figure ways to piece the library program naturally into what’s already occurring or what people hope will occur. As one of my history teachers says, “The best way to eat a whale is one bite at a time.” From the interest in the scope and sequence Zooms this summer, a lot of us are still trying to put the pieces all together, but you have to start by putting down some of those pieces in the first place. Enjoy your new school AND the library ladder!!
Christina, thank you so much for your spot-on advice! I love the idea of creating an “organic” library program for your school. If you need me, I’ll be in the faculty lounge. 🙂