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We're All In This Together: Building Community in a School Library

Many arms, with hands touching in the center

As school librarians, we want our students and patrons to feel welcome in our space. We want to build community — and programming is a great way to do it.

The new American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards expressly address inclusivity in the standards with "Include," one of the Standards' six Shared Foundations. "Include" states that students, librarians and libraries will be able to “demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to inclusiveness and respect for diversity in the learning community.”

Sneaky Tactics

Sneaky Tactics

The exchange goes something like this:

Librarian: “I wanted to let you know about some great resources that I have available for research with your students.”

Teacher: “I just send my kids to (insert well-known search engine here).”

Lights, Camera, and an Idea Worth Spreading

Student presenting his Ted-ED Club presentation

Most of us are familiar with TED Talks, a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas through short, often powerful, talks. As librarians, we can use the format of a TED Talk to engage students and teachers with research and encourage them to spread their ideas.

We chose to incorporate TED-ED into our ninth-grade programming — with excellent results. In fact, we are now hoping to spread it to eighth and fifth grades as culminating projects during those capstone years in our district.

Distance Librarian-ing: the New School Library Normal

A photo of a child drawing a picture titled "Stay home"

As we approach May still in quarantine, we wanted to share how our library programming is continuing to roll along in the midst of the pandemic. We have learned some amazing things about ourselves, our library programming and what our school community needs.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about some of the lessons learned, how our programming is holding up, and what we see as necessary as we continue in this brave new normal.

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