A Little History… And a Lot of Rambling

In my parish, Monday and Tuesday were PD days. The first day was a district PD day and the second day was a school PD day. I am part of the administration team, so to some degree, I usually know the topics before they get delivered. As a librarian media specialist and school technology facilitator, I wear many hats. The past two days, I wore the librarian hat! I’m navigating my way through and trying to be heard.

I go back and forth between how to build a strong library program at my school. I love books and I want students to love them too. I’m always tweaking my master plan to make that happen.

Here’s the history…I work on a campus that houses K-12th grade. I first accepted the librarian position at my school in 2014. I took over a library that was only open to K-3rd grade. I immediately included 4th and 5th grade on my schedule. 4th and 5th graders need to smell and feel books too, right? All was good for a few months, but I wanted more. My library schedule felt forced so I adjusted my schedule and set flex time. This helped because it allowed students the opportunity to return books and check out books as they saw fit. Offering flex time in an elementary library encourages students to take responsibility for their reading. Over the next 2 years, progress was made. I allotted more and more flex time, taught students how to check in and out their own books, built relationships with teachers and students, started the AR program, increased circulation and lost a ton of books.  Still, it wasn’t enough. I was frustrated. Something was missing. My mind kept wandering to the room adjoining the library. THE MEDIA CENTER I wanted it to be mine, so I came up with a plan. The director of the school was a wonderful man and had a niche for “teaching the kids.” He had also hired me for the elementary librarian position and was please with the progress I had made.

I asked and he made it happen. An new elementary librarian was hired and I started from scratch. No books and no one was reading.

This is my 2nd year. It’s coming along. I will keep pushing until everyone is reading. Building relationships with teachers and students help. But I want more! I will not quit until everyone is reading!

How do you measure the success of your library? What incentives/programs do you use to push reading?