The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Carson LeMaster is an international school librarian in Morocco. She maintains the largest English language library in Morocco and has a collection of over 30,000 titles in multiple languages. She previously worked in school libraries in North Carolina and Tennessee. Click here to listen to her interview now.
In this podcast, Carson describes her first year in the school library. But actually, she’s had 3 different first years in a school library - North Carolina, Tenessee, and Morocco.
Every time you move to a new school you face a lot of the same issues whether it’s your first year ever or just the first year in this new school.
She works to identify what her administrator expects of a librarian and also tries to figure out the culture of the school is and what they think of the library.
She loves the challenge of working with a collection that needs a little TLC and has no problem with deciding to deselect a title from the collection.
Here are some Librarian Influencer strategies Carson shared:
She enjoys transforming people’s perception of what a school library is and what it offers.
She wants to reach everyone who thinks libraries should be quiet places.
She’s working to create a learning commons where students are becoming producers and showing their thinking and learning.
She sees herself as more of a facilitator and even acknowledges that students can teach her.
Your collection should reflect the students.
Flipping the Library
She wants everyone to see what librarians can bring to a situation.
We should strive to become the library that is needed in this century.
Carson describes a “flip” as changing the library into something fresh.
Don’t advocate for your library. Advocate for your students.
You can follow Librarian Influencer Carson LeMaster at:
An update from Carson during the COVID-19 time.
Things have certainly changed recently for all of us. I’m currently still in Morocco, which is on a country-wide mandated lockdown. My husband is allowed to leave for groceries or emergencies, but I’ve been at home for two weeks. My school is starting its third week of virtual school and we are beginning to smooth out some of the kinks.
I’ve mostly been focused on beefing up our library website so that students have a digital library. I’m so glad this time has forced me to focus on the site— I know it will continue to be valuable, even when normalcy resumes. I’ve also started a passion project challenge with a fourth-grade teacher and built a really comprehensive research hyperdoc lesson for the tenth graders, which will also come in handy for the years to come. This time away from a super busy physical space has also given me the opportunity to collaborate with other educators around the globe, through social media, of course, but also including some content creation with an educational consulting company, The Core Collaborative. (thecorecollaborative.com)
I know a lot of librarians are worried about the future of libraries at this time, but I am actually excited about how these circumstances will move libraries forward. As experts in integrating technology, we can be a huge support to teachers and students. If we keep innovating and growing, we are going to prove invaluable to administrators, teachers, students, and parents and I don’t think they will forget our help. Librarians aren’t going anywhere!
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