Well, it's inching closer and closer to a school start date and I bet most of you will be starting school in a distance learning environment. I hope that your district or state has started thinking about librarians and the role they play in learning no matter which reopening option they choose. But, if not I thought I'd share some things you can do to help get the thought processes rolling in the right direction. This one of those times when your PLN is vital!
First, AASL should always be a place you look to for direction. They have a fantastic website where they are pulling together some very helpful information. One chart I find particularly helpful is this: School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions.
This chart reiterates the various roles we perform as librarians and shows how these roles play out in distance learning, face-to-face, and hybrid learning environments. School librarians serve as instructional partners, teachers, leaders, information specialists, and program administrators. Just because we are living and working during a pandemic, doesn't mean these roles go away for us. Take some time to check out AASL's chart. It might even help you stay calm and focused as the start day to school approaches.
Be sure to also checkout AASL’s Back to School Plans for supervisors.
Stepping out with a plan is one way to show that libraries and librarians should be a part of any reopening plan. Waiting for your district to come up with a plan, might backfire on you. So step up like Eanes ISD in Texas did. They chose to focus on two areas of service: instruction and circulation. When you visit Carolyn Foote's blog post, you'll see she uses colors to represent various reopening stages: red (remote), yellow (hybrid), and green (hybrid with less restrictions). These colors are great ways to draw attention to the different environments you could be working in throughout the school year.
Allison Mackley and the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association (PSLA) created a similar infographic through crowd sourcing. Their plan has further developed into a Google document that other librarians can make a copy of and modify for their own district's use. On the bottom of the infographic, they include a link to a Canva template for you to create your own infographic. On the left side of the Google document, PSLA has included some information pulled from the AASL resource website shared above. If you've hopped on the Wakelet wave, you might enjoy this curated list of reopening plans.
I hope this helps you start thinking through a plan for reopening. Having a document like Eanes or PSLA created should help put your library team in the spotlight for your district and campus administrators. You will look polished and prepared! Who wouldn't want that?!
Have you met Monica Cruz? In this week's podcast interview she talks about how librarians are essential component of accomplishing learning goals.
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