Monday, January 30, 2017

Library Policies and Supporting Staff

Module 5 reflection post for LIBE 461 Administration of the School Library Resource Centre

Welcoming Policies:

As a TOC, I have had the chance to work in many different libraries and I try to pick up different ideas from each one. Last week, I taught in a vibrant library in a large Vancouver elementary school. One policy that was successful for that library was accessibility! It seems simple, but by having the library open for twenty minutes before and after school every day of the week, students were encouraged to visit often. I only wish every school had this policy in place!

Circulation was high at this library and there was an entire wall listing holds on popular books. Another library I saw recently had a list of student names written on a sticky note on a new book to indicate the order in which it was to be borrowed.

In my children's school, the former TL used a positive reinforcement strategy in regards to overdue books. Classes with no overdues at the end of the year earned a pizza party.

The Bacon article suggests that if you don't have a book, you could offer to order a copy or borrow it from another library. My daughter's librarian has ordered books based on her recommendations, and it has been great for my daughter! Although I have yet to witness an inter-library loan, I assume that they happen in my district. Do any of you use inter-library loans?

Discouraging Policies:

I have seen evidence of "no borrowing if you have overdues" policies at several libraries. This obviously discourages some students from interacting with the library and it upsets some students. I understand that it is important for young students to understand the routine of returning books to the library, but it is hard to console a kindergartener who is crying when they're told they can't take out a book today. As someone who wants to get books into kids' hands, this doesn't sit right with me.

The opposite of the encouraging accessibility policy above is when libraries aren't open outside of class time. At my children's school of 275 students, the library is only open after school twice a week and it's never open before school.

Staff Issues

In my opinion, staff will want to work with a teacher-librarian who makes their lives easier and creates units that build students' research and literacy skills while meeting curricular needs. Lambert mentions that she solicits ideas from teachers and then creates the plan and does all the prep in order to make it simple for the teacher to bring their class to the library. If teachers can share some of their job and get support in teaching and assessing their students, they are more likely to want to collaborate with the TL in future.

Friday, January 13, 2017

New "Elephant and Piggie Like Reading!" book coming soon!

I'm sure most of you who work with elementary students or have young children in your life are aware that Mo Willems has written his final Elephant and Piggie book and he is now overseeing the publication of books in the Elephant and Piggie Like Reading! series. The first two books are The Cookie Fiasco and We Are Growing! and my five year old has been enjoying them. I just saw today that there is a new book in the series coming out in May 2017. It's called The Good For Nothing Button and it's written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper. I'll be watching for it!

The Five Laws of Librarianship

I'm currently taking a free online course called "Cataloguing for Non-Catalogers" from WebJunction (the learning place for libraries). I've just learned about the five laws of librarianship and the infographic below contained html code for sharing, so I believe it's ok to paste it here.

USC Online Library Science Degree

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Role of the Teacher Librarian

Module 1 reflection post for LIBE 461 Administration of the School Library Resource Centre

As a wannabe teacher-librarian, I'll have to use my best guess to prioritize the various areas of the job. I don't have a current SLLC, but I hope to have one within five years. In my hypothetical library, clientele comes first to me, as the goal of the library is to support student learning. In order to do so, I need updated, relevant resources (both physical and digital) as well as efficient and welcoming facilities. Image fits into this high-priority area as well, because if your library isn't known as a welcoming and interesting place to be, you won't succeed in engaging students.

Lower down on the list would be budget as I would guess it will be extremely low, so I can't get my hopes up for too many purchases for the library. It's hard to select any other aspects as less important, but as a new TL, I'm thinking it would take me some time to build up my leadership and Pro-D skills as I'd need to get to know the staff and feel confident in my role first. I think these areas could be challenging but also exciting once I've built up my skills and have new ideas to share.

Policy is one of those tricky items that is important in theory, but doesn't make the cut in terms of day to day tasks. I would probably put policy lower on the priority list and reflect on it after settling into the job for awhile.

The wide variety of roles that a TL takes on is intimidating because I can see how there would always be more work to do, but it's also thrilling, because it's exactly the type of work I'd love to be doing!