Jul 07 2010
Some thoughts at the end of the school year
Again, I have been neglecting this blog too much this year and promise to do something to improve my use of it over the next few months. A friend said recently that some are “missing my voice” – a rather apt phrase as I will explain later!
This has been an interesting and sometimes frustrating year for me. The really positive things that have happened are:
- The new library was opened in October 2009 and has been very well received by the school community.
- I feel really appreciated in my school – particularly by the management, the governors, many staff and a lot of the students and parents.
- We have begun work on some collaborative projects in the new library – reading development with English, some work with the Sixth Form and classes have used my services from History, Geography and Science.
- I organised a Book Week, with help from some staff, and the Reading Group has developed well.
- I have been able to demonstrate some interesting uses of technologies to the Sixth Form, some staff and many students. The Library Online Netvibes, the Wiki, our Animoto videos, use of Prezi have all been well-received and I can see I am gaining a reputation with many that I am a bit of a techie “geek”!
- The library came out of the recent school inspection very well, with pointers to where we can contribute to school improvement – particularly in fostering the skills for independent learning.
- The library budget will enable me to continue to develop and improve the book stock and also look to the future, in terms of subscription online databases and other exciting digital resources.
- I am happy in the school – definitely an important aspect of any job!
- I have been able to attend a number of training and professional development opportunities both in the “real” world and online.
- My online PLN continues to support my development and I hope that I contribute to theirs in an equal fashion.
- I have continued to learn about new things every day and strive to keep as up-to-date as I can with developing technologies and ideas.
Some things have not gone so well for me this year, although I have tried hard to overcome difficulties:
- The number one issue has been my health – I will not go into detail, but I have struggled to deal with a constant cough and lately a very weak voice – a real issue for a school librarian!
- This has lead to a level of frustration (mine), that I could not deliver at the level I wanted – maybe I’m too much of a perfectionist!
But my own personal struggles are nothing when it comes to the wider picture that we find in July 2010. Every day we hear of school libraries being run down or closed and librarians having their hours cut or being made redundant. The short-sightedness of this is astounding – so much research shows that a good library and librarian help raise achievement in our schools! At a time when so many lament poor literacy levels it does not seem to be joined-up thinking to act in this way. But then, how often do our “masters” show logic when they plan an education system for other people’s children!
Hard days are coming for many and I must admit that I am glad that my own sons have now both left school, because many are going to become very impoverished places. In my next post, I am going to try to think of more positive ways in which we can keep hope in our minds. In the meantime, if you want to feel uplifted about a school librarian’s role, look at this wonderful post by Buffy Hamilton: What Running Can Teach You About Librarianship.