I’ve been neglecting this blog! I am one of those people who, once some time has passed without a post, I feel all this pressure to write a really good post to make up for the absence, and next thing I know, it has been a year.
But I need to get over that and just try to dive back in.
So, some recent highlights from the library (without transitions because I’m too tired!):
I ran circulation statistics last week, to compare with last year. Last year, we had a huge jump (almost 70%) over the year before, as a result of many things, including having a newly renovated middle school library, and some fabulous promotion of pleasure reading on the part of our English/Reading faculty. I was curious to see how we were doing this year, and was excited to see another 8% jump over last year. I’m not really concerned with numbers–I think you learn more from just being in the building and seeing what goes on–but seeing print circulations going up in 2015 is pretty exciting!
On the pleasure reading front, our Library Intern program (created and mostly run by kids; overseen by the eternally patient Mrs. White) continues to thrive. Before long, there will be more kids who are interns than ones who are not. The interns help with shelving, reader’s advisory, keeping things organized (our desk drawers have never looked so good; I should have them tackle my personal desk), and lately, having kids vote on names for every item on the desk (e.g., Tucker the stapler; Newt the bobblehead turtle; Patch Wiggle Reed the stuffed monkey, etc.). We love the energy they bring to the library!
Last week, we had a museum exhibit in the library, thanks to Mrs. Thomas’ class of 5th grade girls. Mr. Boyd helped the kids during the research portion–they had extensive choice in selecting their ancient history topics, which led to some very impressive projects and a lot of energy and excitement in sharing their learning with each other and visitors to the museum. I am amazed overall with the level of thinking and creativity in our current 5th grade–give them choice and an opportunity to add their voices to the conversation, then sit back and be blown away by what they come up with. I have moments where I wish I could be a student in one of those classes, and other moments where I think I would love to teach 5th grade in a future existence. Every year our students amaze me, but some of the wonderful things going on in the lower school these days (with inquiry- and project-based learning) are really becoming more and more evident with each new crop of 5th graders.
A 5th grade fellow came into the Makerspace yesterday wanting to sew a pillow to give to his mom and dad for Valentine’s Day. He picked out his fabric yesterday during recess, but we ran out of time before he could start sewing. Today, he learned to use the sewing machine and sewed most of his pillow during a free period, at the end of which he said, “I can just stay and finish.” I said, “You have to go to class!” “Well . . . you could write me a note!” Nope, sorry, kid. But he came back and finished it up with stuffing and final stitches after school, in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day.
We’ve been playing with Google Cardboard during 7th/8th grade recess, and I highly recommend that if you have a compatible phone (which I sadly do not, but a few of the kids do), you buy one of the $8 versions available now on Amazon (marked down from $40; do not pay $40) or build one yourself. No, it is not educational (thus recess only; it lives on my desk otherwise), but it is definitely a lot of fun.
On a final note, I am just feeling grateful–for the kids, for my colleagues, for our wonderful space. I am one to make noise about things when they aren’t how I like them to be, and things are never perfect, but I seriously had this moment last week where I looked around at the beautiful chaos of the library and thought, wow, this is exactly what I envision when I think of what I hope for the library to be. It’s not every minute, and we have plenty of ways in which to grow (and I personally have a LOT of growth to do!), but I’m grateful for where we are and the direction in which we are heading.