Saturday, April 14, 2012

A five year plan?

I'm back from the Virginia Hamilton Multicultural Literature Conference, which was awesome, as usual.  Today I have been reflecting on what I learned.  I was once again reminded at the sheer amount of work it takes to write or illustrate a well-done book.  The planning, research, working, revising that goes into it, then it is sent off and comes back for more of the same.  I think we need to approach our work in managing and promoting the media center the same way; we have take the time to plan -- our day, our week, the school year, and a five  year plan.  These will take research, what are my objectives; evaluate and rebuild a collection?  Move toward a learning commons atmosphere? Build a collaborative teaching environment?  Any of these will take time to plan, enact, revisit and revive.  If we do the prep work and the follow through we should have the data we need to demonstrate the continued need for 21st century media centers.  And, of course, their continued support.
To this end I am spending the rest of the weekend on my year in review, where I will show the media center contribution to the building and district goals, my plans for next year, and a five year plan. 
How do you demonstrate your "well done book?"

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Walking the race!

There are many sprited discussions in my various professional development  places; most of which are debates about our role as school librarians in the whole school program.  Many great points and ideas from all; but for the rest of this year I am going to continue to dogpaddle as best I can!
The plans for our first Battle of the Books are going strong -- a subcommittee from my student advisory board is planning the entire event.  Another subcommittee went with me to the local bookstore to purchase books with the money from a grant received to increase our fiction section.  I have just ordered some gaming style chairs for the fiction section to make a comfortable corner.  On the surface, these things are not as substantial as co-designing units of study, or presenting professional development to the faculty; but I believe that my first order of business as an embedded media specialist is to create a space for teaching and learning that is a place where students want to be. 
Once students begin to feel invested, they will become a force that will help the rest of the program evolve.  Building a repore with teachers is a slow and steady process, done one day at a time.   Continuing to keep a viable, relevent program that meets the needs of faculty, students, and parents is one of those slow and steady races that have an important finish line -- students who become effective 21st century citizens.
What kinds of things do you do to build a learning commons that reflects the needs and wants of your community?