We had Summer Institute this week, two days of in person learning with experts in the field of school librarianship. Finally seeing the people you have spent hours online with was wonderful and gave you the chance to put the person with the name you see on the screen. There were so many great ideas and truly “aha moments” spread throughout the days that it was exhausting trying to keep up. (This is where I’ll say thanks to my husband for getting me that iPad so I could write my notes and record at the same time- great for when I can’t figure out what my notes say.)
I loved Dr. Perry’s presentation about the library for future ready students. It was heartbreaking to hear the numbers from California, 1 librarian for at least every 7,000 students? Yes, a 1 to 7,000 ratio. It sent my brain reeling on to all sorts of thoughts. One of the biggest was if thousands of students in one of the largest states in our country do not have librarians will we eventually see an even greater disparity in knowledge and critical thinking skills in the future if the movement to save money by cutting librarian positions continues? Just as my heart was sinking there was one ray of hope in the form of a makerspace. I understand the concept of makerspace but I have struggled with how I would have one in a library since I tend to be a crafty person and not a techy person. Why not embrace that but add an element that gets students more involved by adding a caring component? That’s what Gina Seymour at Islip High School (Go LI!!!!) did in her school’s makerspace, it’s maker +C (caring). I could absolutely do something like that. We have so many groups we can reach out to in our community that would benefit from things created in a makerspace. I will be keeping this idea in mind for the future.
A common theme through the presentations I went to was you have to believe in what you are doing or where you are going before you can get others on board. It is great to have a vision but if you fail to convince the teachers and the administration that your vision is possible and will benefit the students then all you will have is a vision. What good is a vision to anyone but you?
I had two ideas to follow up on from Summer Institute. I loved learning about fandom. I had no idea how in depth it went. The array of levels and terms was mind blowing. I have had conversations with students about certain elements of fandom in the past but I had no idea of the depth that fandom can have while I was talking to them. If I am lucky enough to find a job in a high school library I will definitely find a way to embrace fandom in the library. My other idea to follow up on comes from the session on e-books. My district is in the process of going 1:1. My thinking is that as more of our students have devices we need to embrace e-books more than we do. At the schools I work in there are e-books in the collection but they are almost never checked out. Students do not know how to check them out and I doubt most teachers know how to check them out either. Why not use bookmarks to advertise the e-books like they did in Dare County? I already plan on teaching the students how to check out e-books, I could write the steps on bookmarks and give them to the students so they could check out books at home or school. It’s a simple low tech idea that will help them navigate a high tech tool.
I really enjoyed Summer Institute. Seeing friends, meeting the people behind the name, hearing from the field, it was all incredible. Now, if only the semester was over so I could recover but alas, I have to go back to reality and Module 4 & 5 (678) and create a portfolio/conference proposal.