whose contagious love of yoga has spread through a small but devoted section of the student population.
A survey by the American Psychological Association found that nearly half of all teens — 45 percent — said they were stressed by school pressures. Since many students view the library as a safe place and oasis within the building, Stress reduction programming offered through the library just makes good sense.
In these days of transition for the library field, we are re-imagining our roles and expanding our vision to meet multiple needs for our students, staff and the wider community we serve. Yoga is just one way of providing an expanded level of service to the school community. Though I happen to be certified as a yoga instructor as well as a librarian, lack of yoga certification need not stop those who are looking for ways to think outside of the box through the offering of new
activities and programming for patrons.
As one of the few independent learning zones in the school, the school library is the ideal place to initiate health and wellness programming that addresses student’s whole selves. We’ve held meditation workshops and teen self-confidence workshops on a regular basis. These workshops, facilitated by student leaders, high school clinical staff and/or outside community members, offer teens vitally important life skills training that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Not only over-stressed students but also over-stressed staff benefit from health and wellness related programming. I offer Tuesday and Thursday morning before school sessions. A small but loyal group of teachers have decided that it is well worth setting the alarm early to begin the day with a calm state of mind and an energized body.
The community building aspect of strong school library programming centered on health/wellness and student’s emotional needs is not to be underemphasized.
Our high school library provides a venue for student self expression throughout the school year. From talent shows and “Open Mike Nights,” to “Teen Speak Outs,” and poetry readings. Some of these events are tied to the curriculum, but many take place independently through creative efforts of staff interested in helping students find their voices.
Teen speaker Ashley Olafsen served as one of our primary guest facilitators this year in the library in partnership with our school’s ADL Club. Her message of teen empowerment and her role modeling of the use of social media to find one’s voice and connect to others is a powerful one that aligns with ISTE’s digital citizenship/technology Standards. Such out of the box, valuable programming efforts serve our school community’s well.