Well Mr. Simon, what should a Librarian look like?

I am going to start with a funny, but true story. I was at a gala for the Big Brothers of Regina a while back. In fact, it was on the very first night of EC&I 831. At this gala, the table I was sitting at happened to win an auction to have Saskatchewan Roughrider, Mr. Geroy Simon sit at our table for the supper portion of the evening. We went around the table introducing ourselves and what we did for a living. Mr. Simon said to me “You don’t look like a librarian!” Funny thing, I get that a lot. I (all too quickly) quipped back, “Well Mr. Simon, what should a Librarian look like?”

me and geroy

The stereotypical view of what a Librarian should look like and what a library is is currently the bane of my existence in the school. I want to change the stereotypical design of what a library should be: a quiet place for students to take out books. However, making too many changes in your first year is difficult and I’ve been watching for toes that I do not want to step on.

The first thing I changed was some organizational spaces in the library. Baskets, basically. Nothing too exciting.

But now that all my book fairs are over (thank the good Lord above because I almost quit my job!) I can now get onto the fun changes I want to do. Phase two of library changes are now taking place.

The first part of phase two: Create a Twitter account for the library.

I hummed and hawed about whether I create a new account for the library or simply create a hashtag. Well, I created an account. Check us out @HawrylakLibrary. My goal for the Twitter account is to share new reads, new programs and new ideas with students, staff and parents that follow the library. I posted a picture of my Grey Cup book display, to which a student photo-bombed. At first, I was disappointed that I’d have to retake the photo because I didn’t know if this student could be on the internet. But after a discussion with said student, it turns out he is on Twitter already because his class is using it as a means of communication. The library got a new follower that day and he helped spread the word about the going-ons in the library. He also let me know that he creeped my personal Twitter account, @RochelleRugg, and said “You only follow a bunch of teachers. That’s not a lot of fun.”

The second part of phase two: Aurasma in the library.

Bad name, great app! One thing I learned from being a Grade 8 teacher is those kids don’t care if I liked the book or not. They want to hear it from someone their own age. I wanted a forum, so to speak, where students could review books and share it with other students. I was discussing this with a fellow “tech-geek” teacher and she directed me to the free app, Aurasma. Basically, this app allows a person to record a short, 3 minute video about anything. Once you’ve completed the video, you take a picture of what you want that video associated with. So, in the case of the library, it will be a cover of a book. When a student opens the Aurasma app and holds it over the cover of said book, the video will begin to play. Instant book reviews! I have the choice of keeping the videos private or public. If I keep the videos private, then students can only use my library iPad to view the reviews. If I make the videos public then any student can access it from their own device using the Aurasma app. Here is where I have to be careful. I have to know who can and can’t be on the internet. I think I’ve figured a way around this problem by one, not naming the student, and two videotaping just parts of the book while the student speaks. I am starting with the 2013 Willow Nominee Books and am hoping to start this project this week.

Phase three of part two: Digital Citizenship Workshops

In my last blog, I was quite dismayed by the lack of understanding of what Digital Citizenship is among students and teachers alike. Although I am no expert in it myself, I think that Alec’s class last week has shown me that I do know enough to help spread the word in and around the school. Although I am currently trying to work on Phase two at the moment, I don’t have a sample of what I want to do with my Digital Citizenship sessions. That will most likely come this week. I am hoping to do this using Livebinders.com.

I have a list of about 30+ changes I want to do in the library, but I think these three will keep me busy enough until after Christmas. My question to my fellow colleagues is what changes/improvements would like to see in today’s school libraries or what innovative and exciting projects is your teacher librarian currently doing that you would love to share? Is your library still the “Quiet and Read only” zone or does your TL encourage conversation and work spaces?

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2 thoughts on “Well Mr. Simon, what should a Librarian look like?

  1. Pingback: My blog | Beyond the Glass

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