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What to Keep?

By Robbie Barber

In the midst of a pandemic, there was a vast variety in how classes were handled in the

K-12 environment. Based on this variety of student access, many of us created or

enhanced online spaces. We held curbside book checkout. We did book clubs with

online meetings. Some even provided baggies of makerspace materials to let students

do this at home. Our Media Centers/ Learning Commons spaces were quieter than they

have ever been. What do we want to keep as we move forward?

I am keeping my individual Google Classrooms. Instead of being solely for the Media

Center, they are grade-level specific. Class of 2021 (seniors) had all of the basic

information from the Media Center plus the senior advisor and college advisor could

post announcements and information. It had passwords and links to the various

databases we use. The Class of 2024 (freshmen) had an introduction to the Media

Center sway. It had the freshmen advisor as a teacher. It was a really good start of

individualizing by grade the information students need.

I am keeping my Google Classroom Faculty Lounge. This provided a space for teachers

to share, discuss, and find materials without searching all over. Plus, teachers would

provide their advice and preference on different technologies. We need a safe space to

talk, ask questions, and find resources.

I am not keeping my curbside checkout. It was hard on me for very little return (very

few students checked out). But, I wanted students to know that I was consistently there.

I did buy a small book cart and I am thinking of moving my cart into the hallway

between some classes to allow students check out books outside the library.

Last, I did my first adult book club online with Stamped! by Jason Reynolds. The goal is

to engage with students for the same book. I want to do the book clubs in person, but I

am now open to the idea that some may prefer online club. I need to be open to both.

The pandemic changed education. And, teacher-librarians (media specialists, school

librarians, METIs, etc.) are leading these changes. What are you keeping?

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