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From A to Z
Lia the Librarian
Created on December 3, 2020
from a to z:
A REGINA LIBRIS PRODUCTION
An Alphabetic Odyssey Through a New Librarian's First Three Years, & What She
"Not I, not anyone else can travel that road for you;
you must travel it for yourself.
It is not far, it is within reach..."
I didn't know i was going to be a librarian.
I went into the job interview hoping to be chosen as the school's new fourth grade teacher.
Two days later, I was hired as
the school's librarian (and TTRT).
When I told my friend (a school librarian herself),
her response was:
"Why didn't we think of that sooner?"
"Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us, but we can't strike them all by ourselves.” ― Laura Esquivel
"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” ― Madeleine L'Engle
"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire. ”
― St. Catherine of Siena
but she's magic.
There's no lie
in her fire.”
- Aesthetics-Warmth, welcome, enchantment.
- Accessibility-Kids can find the books!
- Acquisitions-There are good books to find!
- Advocacy-Speak up. If you don't, who will?
- Building-How to create a more vibrant program from the ground up? (Advice: Pick 3 things that are most important to you, focus on those, and go for it!)
- Borrowing-If the muse is silent, find inspiration in others' ideas. (More on this in a bit.)
Before this can happen, there are some things you may have to prove:
your ability to listen;
your ability to learn;
Development & Diversification-
Delve deep, wander wide; and find out what's inside. Make sure everyone has a voice and a mirror, and that there are windows to look through, too.
Are my students getting what they need and want? Are they represented fairly and equally?
When you hold one,
go the extra mile to transform the space into a wonderland.
...and set aside funds for the kids who have none.
Students need to know what's out there for them to explore...especially now, when there is so much emphasis on nonfiction reading and writing.
You can DO it!
I detest asking for it.
Sometimes, however, you CAN give yourself permission to do so. In fact, you SHOULD.
We all could use a little.
Actively seek it from students. The library is their space.
Remind administrators and faculty members that this is something you do.
- Keep one of your own, even if you never have done so before. Chronicle your experiences. Take notes. Jot down ideas.
- Read the professional ones; they're your map. Think of School Library Journal, School Library Connection, or...
What's more...don't be afraid to put yourself out there; even newbies possess valuable knowledge, and certainly have fresh perspectives. Share your insights; get published!
Pay attention to what your colleagues and students are saying.
Leadership-Once you're settled in and are feeling confident enough, take the reins.
Longwood-I was lucky enough to be accepted to the SLIB program at Longwood. Without it, I am nothing.
Do what you can to bring this into the library. Even little things count.
I started purchasing supplies and planning activities and projects for a makerspace.
Then came the cooties...
You need to be a team player. That being acknowledged, you also need to set boundaries and allow yourself the chance to say "No." Say it nicely...but say it.
You WILL get overwhelmed if you don't.
Think ahead. What do you want to share with your students? What do they need to know? How can you positively affect students' learning?
Let your administrators know what you do. (Yes, again.) Enlist their support.
Count your blessings if you've got a good one.
Stick to yours. Stick to the profession's.
A year (that felt like ten, mind you) and months ago, none of us thought we'd be having to sequester books and hide them away from our students...but it happened!
So, "what is the message? What is the takeaway?"
You should expect the unexpected, and be prepared to pivot.
Ask them. Don't worry about appearing foolish. How else will you get answers?
Shh. This quirky and unassuming exterior is merely a cover for my true identity.
Yet another example of why "why not?" can work to your advantage.
This is what we used to do. We will again.
Who helped to set up and run two years' worth of STEAM sessions (based on books but inquiry-based)?
That would be me.
They'll be back.
I'm also my school's TTRT. I fix things.
I direct PD. I show folks how to integrate tech in a meaningful way.
Universal (or Uniform) Resource Locator-
Also known as a URL, this is the standardized address of a particular resource or file on the internet.
It could also be another name or job title for a librarian.
Our state organization rocks, and puts on an awesome conference (as you can see).
If you haven't yet, seriously consider being a part of our state organization; it's a great way to stay current, to learn, and to connect with peers.
For someone who loves books, this is initially a challenge.
It seems--to use another "W" word--wrong.
Just do it.
Wait, you thought I'd have an entry for this? C'mon, man...
...Here, look at this picture of a charming ground squirrel. (...it's also known as a Xerus, by the way.)
Remember when I told you that it's okay to say "no" sometimes?
That's still true; but saying "yes" has its merits, too. Be someone who's there for others.
A little enthusiasm and passion goes a long way, and will carry you through the tougher times. Don't lose it.
Find me on Twitter!