A Kid in a Candy Store

23 March 2017

This post may sound a bit weird, but it’s all good. Maybe that’s the weird part. It’s ALL SO GOOD. I love everything about information science and being a librarian. Somehow I missed this calling earlier in life! It has been kind of overwhelming to learn so many new electronic platforms for so many different things, but what a blast. Livebinder, WordPress, Knovio, voice thread, ted.ed, and so many more in addition to the tools I know already – Promethean, google classroom, remind, etc – make my brain kind of explode, but it’s an exploding with ideas kind of explosion. Over the last couple of weeks two things have particularly stood out, or maybe three.

First, in working in my school library for my practicum, this week, I got to look for books to buy to add to the collection. Our social studies and English departments ask students to read nonfiction, memoir, and biography selections, and it’s a challenge to have enough for so many students, so I was searching for those types of books. I guess that doesn’t seem exciting, but after a long day of teaching, to sit in the library office area and devote time to looking for good books, was peaceful, calming  and refreshing. It felt like  I had found my home. I seriously almost cried. I know working in the library won’t always, or even often, be peaceful like that, but it felt amazing. A little of that every so often will soothe my soul.

Second, reading about intellectual freedom and advocacy has also left me feeling like this is home territory. To me, the library is like a haven, a safe place, and I think it is also that for many students. If the current budget before Congress passes, the world, or at least the United States, will be the worse for the loss of libraries it will cause. They are places worth fighting for. My degree in college was in advertising, and I worked writing ads for a while, but left advertising because it felt empty. The creative and writing parts were fun, but to what end? Parting consumers from their money wasn’t my cup of  tea. But fighting for libraries by advocating for them, for intellectual freedom, for students…I believe in those.

The third thing that has blossomed in my mind since my last blog is the cross-curricular nature of librarianship. I had a hard time in college deciding on a major because I liked so many subjects. My master’s degree is from a Liberal Studies program the includes courses in science, social studies and the humanities. It was wonderful because I got to study all kinds of things. The library is the same way. As I was searching the online book catalog for books for our school library, I wondered what could entice the science department to use the library more. How could math find value in the library? I would love for this to be my full-time job. Thinking about these things, promoting literacy, intellectual freedom, having book clubs and makerspaces, luring teachers into the library, all of this makes me feel like a kid in a candy store!

 

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The library learning keeps on rolling

Evaluating websites, creating makerspaces, collecting information for an infographic…the learning never ends! And that’s a good thing.

There are so many platforms out there that are great for classrooms and the library. If only students had one-to-one technology and we could harness them for all of our students. It is wonderful that school and public libraries help bridge the the technology gap. I am excited to be a part of such a vital  service to the community. Another thing I am excited about is that librarians are staunch defenders of intellectual freedom. As a teacher, my underlying foundation for any lesson has always been to help my students learn to think for themselves. That librarians are activists of a sort for this same objective  makes me even more certain that this is the path I want to pursue.