Library Re-Orientation

It’s a wild time to be an educator right now. The struggle is real for all of us, and at this point, I don’t even have the energy to write some clever but still encouraging intro about it — so moving right along…

I am trying to use the current state of things to my advantage and refocus our attention in the library. This is year six for me in my current school, and I still haven’t felt like I’ve arrived yet. I still haven’t been able to consistently get the library to have the vibe and focus that it deserves to have. Because of our schedule, high school students have copious amounts of free time and that can make managing a productive library space challenging. I want the library to be a welcoming and inclusive space where all of my students feel comfortable and welcome. That approach has at times taken us too far towards the side of chaos, though. The library also needs to be a space where students can be productive and get work done. Finding the balance has always been a struggle for me.

I listened to Kelsey Bogan’s ‘Don’t Shush Me’ podcast episodes on Dealing with Discipline in the High School Library and it really helped me to get some ideas and focus my plan for the year. In particular, I’m working on addressing issues during our busiest times. I totally stole Kelsey’s use of three simple library rules and using the technique of getting with students one-on-one or in small groups to address issues.

After next week, I will have hosted all of my middle and upper school students for library visits through their English classes. I’m calling this a Re-Orientation this year, since most of them have been with me for years, but the past year and a half has been anything but normal. I’m reminding them about all of our resources and chatting with them about our expectations for this space and the reasons that we are really focusing on maintaining a chill working environment here throughout the day.

Because I’m meeting with so many classes, I put together this overview video to kick off their visit so my delivery is consistent across the classes:

Students are also being introduced to the Writing Center, which was a great addition to our library space last year. I’m so looking forward to collaborations with teachers, the library, and the Writing Center that are on the horizon for this school year!

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