Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Showcase and Be Proud of Your Outstanding School Library!

Consider applying soon for this award since this is an opportunity for multiple winners to be recognized. 

Deadline to apply is February 1, 2014 and here is the link to sift through the details. Outstanding School Library 

Recent interview with Christine Tomlinson recipient of the 2013 Outstanding School Library Award.

What does an outstanding library look like? How do you measure success?

An outstanding library looks busy, messy and loud (if something can look loud).  Students and staff are coming and going, both digitally and physically. They work on projects, they read, they learn within the space. Being successful means more than having an updated collection; it means that students and staff have access to and can use the resources my learning commons provides for them. Being successful means more than having books returned on time; it means having students finding and reading books that they truly enjoy.

What are some things that students would miss if they didn't have an outstanding library program?

Our students would miss two very important things if our program was not successful: access to digital research resources and the ability to use them effectively and the access to a blossoming culture of reading wherein all students’ tastes are valued.

Preparing for the application process: I figured out my criteria by thinking about what I’ve done over the past couple of years. I had just finished my program, so the vision was fresh in my mind—The other criteria were a matter of reflection.

How do you manage your time? Who helped you along the way and what tactics were successful towards gaining support? 

I struggle with time management. I always start the day with a list of things I must accomplish, but the on-demand nature of my job (dealing with laptops, student research requests, teacher emails) quite often means that I transfer my must-do list to the next day. I know I should take a plan period, but I don’t. My head teacher and my principals have helped me along the way, as have my former colleagues in the North High Language Arts department.  All have given me the support to re-make our media center into a Learning Commons.

Since the award is valid for three year what is your plan to maintain high standards for the library program and stay current in school libraries?

I do have a couple of goals like moving more inquiry projects into disciplines other than Language Arts, creating and sustaining a summer reading program, and finalizing a K-12 library curriculum for the district (with my department’s help). Staying current is almost easier as I read the library journals and I follow the important peeps in the field. 

As we’re in our third year of a district wide high school 1:1, I’m always learning/planning/thinking of ways to incorporate tech into the lessons and how to use tech to transform education—it’s such a new area that there’s always new and interesting things to learn and implement (and ponder). 

What would surprise people most about your current job?

I think people are most surprised that I actually have a Master’s to do this job. For some, I think they are surprised that I actually “do” stuff

Just for fun...paper or digital?  You could have any superpower; what would it be?

Paper for my favorite authors; otherwise whatever I can get my hands on. 
Superpower? Make everyone have manners.

Who is your greatest ally and why?

Greatest ally—my husband. He lets me be in a book coma for an entire weekend and actually buys the excuse that “it’s for work”.

What's the best of worst part about working with young people? 

Best and worst part about working with young people? They are young people.  Enough said
Professional advice:  Do or do not—there is no try (Yoda).  Write it down in plain people English (my mom).

How do you respond when someone asks you, "Isn't everything online?"

I go online first for answers (if my mom doesn’t know the answer, that is)