Making Progress

panoramic image of school library

Welcome to my new library!

I am so excited to be beginning this new journey in this new space, and my mind is spinning with thoughts, ideas, and questions.

Whose space is it?

The difference between setting up a library and setting up a classroom is that I am keenly aware that this space is not just mine, not just my class’s, but this space is meant to serve our entire community, so I need to think about everyone’s needs, making flexibility and collaboration supremely important. This is a challenge considering the size and weight of the furniture. I know that long term, one of my goals will be to invest in furniture that lends itself to more flexibility.

Trash or Treasure?

I am very grateful that the previous librarian was very organized and left the library and resources neat and orderly. But, I am brand new – new to this school and new to this position – and I am still learning about what is essential and what can go. My natural instincts are to “clean house.” I don’t like a bunch of “stuff,” and letting go of things helps me to feel organized and at peace, but in the same way that this is not my space it is not my stuff. I need to consider the needs of the entire campus before I start giving (or throwing) it all away.

Progress!

Thanks to the support of my new administration, I’ve already been able to make some progress. I’ve been able to have the large study carrels removed. These were bulky and only allowed for independent work, inhibiting collaboration, and additionally, created an immediate physical barrier when entering the library. The new room allows for more empty / flexible space, a feeling of openness, and will help with some of the less glamorous, but essential procedures of elementary school life – things like orderly lines and clear procedures for entering and exiting the library.

Long Term Plans…

One difference between me as a new librarian and me as a new teacher, is that with my age and 18 years of experience behind me, I now have a long term view of my position. I don’t feel like I have to accomplish all of my plans for this library this year. I’m here for the long haul. I have time: time to gather information, time to reflect, and time to collaborate to create a vision and a plan for this space and my role in the school. I do have some hopes for the future which may or may not change as I get to know the needs of the campus.

Hopes:

  • Flexible, collaborative furniture that is easily moved and repurposed depending on the needs of the current users
  • A makerspace which supports student inquiry and curriculum goals
  • A diverse collection including  current nonfiction resources
  • A flexible schedule, supporting collaborative planning and co-teaching to support student needs and curricular goals

What would you tackle first?

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