I am a Teacher-Librarian on the beautiful Gabriola Island. This is a new role for me, at a new school, on a new island, during a pandemic. It has so far been wonderful but also terribly overwhelming. I have heard that this school has had quite a turnover of new TL’s year after year, so I get the impression that things have been forgotten or neglected in this library. It feels like the perfect time to give this Library a new fresh feeling.
I am impressed so far with the organization of the Library, and how well it has been maintained, although there are certainly things I wish I could change. We have these cozy looking bench seats, that no one can use right now because all plush items have to be taken away, and students are not allowed to step foot in the library, let alone cozy up in the plush chairs to read. I would love to bring in more carpets and pillows, but I shall have to wait on that dream for another year or so. There are incredible murals that cover the walls, that bring such a bright and joyous feeling, but in the future I would also love to see this vibrant library filled with happy faces day to day.
Some things I can and hope to tackle this year include binning some of the books. Very few books in my library have been binned, and this is something that I have taken quite a liking to in the libraries I have spent time in the past. I believe that it provides a lot of freedom of choice for all ages of readers.
This may be a pike dream for this year, but I would love to run clubs out of the library. Ideally this would look like a Minecraft club, a technology club, a board game club, or an art club (of ALL variations) to mesh together some of my passions with the students to build deeper connections with them. I may have to shift my thinking this year, and create a nature club, or something that can be done outside because of all the restrictions in place.
When I was sharing with someone that I was going to be stepping into this new role this year, they said “I see Librarians as the cool Aunt figure of the school”, and I LOVE this description, and plan to run with that as much as possible this year. I want my library to be safe, welcoming, and filled with exploration. I’m still not entirely sure how this will be achievable this year without the physical space to congregate, but we will take it one step at a time, together.
Maybe one day, all of the pike dreams will come to fruition, but for this year I will keep planning and dreaming for the betterment and the future of my school, my library, and my students.
Janelle, the Island TL