Just a School Librarian

Thoughts of a Middle School Librarian

Beast of Burden

Posted by CGibson on January 16, 2010


My library media center here at school was totally renovated, thanks to a very generous grant from the Bronx Borough President. Most of the construction work is now complete.   The dust has settled.  I’ve just  finished shelving my library books and am happy to get rid of some boxes.

 Shelving  books is tough work.  My shoulders hurt.  My manicure is a disaster.  This week I was a Beast of Burden.  I tried to get some students to help me with shelving, but it turns out to be more work for me.  Most school librarians will know what I’m talking about.

While shelving these heavy books, I couldn’t help but think how these books will soon be obsolete. My JOB might soon become obsolete. In some schools, libraries and librarians have already been eliminated.   These are tough thoughts to entertain as I struggle with all these heavy books. As a matter of fact, our school is facing another 5% budget cut for next school year.  

Next week I will discuss with my principal my newly revised school library mission.  The library mission will  integrate 21st-century learning, curriculum, and instruction.  The library is now spacious enough to accomodate different learning activities simultaneously. But the new library space will not just be about technology, information, knowledge, and creativity.  A school library space, or ANY learning space for that matter, is a space that supports our students as they grow emotionally, socially, physically, and academically (http://www.21stcenturyskills.org/documents/le_white_paper-1.pdf). 

In these lean economic times, it’s critical to not just sit back and wait for things to happen. It’s important to be proactive. Soon my Principal will sit down and crunch the numbers for next year’s budget. 

And I don’t want her to view ME as a burden.

Thank you for stopping by my blog.

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One Response to “Beast of Burden”

  1. I seem to have quite a few librarians as friends in my life – might be that love of reading working for me. Of all my librarian friends you are the most proactive and I’m proud of your efforts. I am all for electronic communication but to think that one day we will no longer have the printed word as our first choice frightens me. I have a love thing going with books but you already know that. Our state is also facing terrible financial crunches and one of the first places to be hit is the local library – from the city level on down to the local branch. We have tax levies being passed like corn through a goose and STILL the money is just not there. My own local library just posted a sign on the door announcing they will not be opening until noon on three days of the week where they used to be open at 9am daily. One of the problems I see at the library is kids coming in not to read or look for books, but to sit at the computers and play or pick out a DVD to take home and watch. Sigh. Brave New World — I’m not ready for it. P.S. Sorry about the Beast of Burden thing – books can be heavy – you should see some of my theology reference stuff – ouch-squared.
    Hi Linda, Thanks for stopping by. I can just imagine your theology textbooks! They must weight 20 pounds each!

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