Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Librarian in a Remote Learning Environment

High School Information Center Bitmoji Classroom

One of the best things about being a school librarian is that the job is constantly changing. One day I may be ordering books, or receiving book shipments (which makes me feel like I'm getting presents on Christmas). The next day I might be in the classroom telling students about my experiences as the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors. Or, I may be sitting with teachers, reworking lessons to incorporate more opportunities for inquiry-based learning.  The job is rarely dull and certainly this spring was no exception. Not only did I crash teach myself about Google Classroom to support my teacher colleagues who were new to this style of learning, I also found new ways to reach out to tell my school community what their library has to offer.

Covid 19 is a lot of terrible things, but it has also been an opportunity. It has given a chance for information professionals to re-examine what they do and to find new ways to deliver. This spring I made a library Google Classroom where I started an online book club and made a quote wall using Padlet for us to share favorite books. I recorded myself reading favorite passages for my students to access. I also created a library Google Slide bitmoji to better engage my students. I designed online tools for my library users to better understand information literacy. I became more adept at creating teaching videos. While I missed my students and colleagues, I was productive with a new found purpose and new sense of direction. I became a school Google guru, filling a need for locating best practice information quickly to get classrooms humming in a new setting. I became knowledgable about accessibility issues so I could teach them to the teachers. This summer, I look forward to sharing with you some of what I learned this spring.

My archivist adventures have also continued and it has been awhile since I've written about them. I had great fun this past fall and winter consulting for a private school in Massachusetts. I used some old techniques for surveying collections on this project and had new adventures in using spreadsheets for collection note taking. It is fascinating to think about how my role as a consulting archivist has morphed. I look forward to sharing my new insights with you.

Finally, in this turbulent time and in my middle age, I am thinking about my now two decade long career. What does it mean to be a librarian and an archivist? What do I want to tell librarians and archivists coming behind me? What do I want teachers to know about librarians? What should be the future of librarianship.

It feels nice to be writing again and I hope my followers are still following. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


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