If there has ever been a time for creativity and imagination around schools and libraries -- this is it! Over this school year, school librarians have been exploring so many innovative ways of connecting with students: virtual libraries and classes, remote and curbside book circulation, online games and book groups… the list goes on!
Yet with all the focus on student and teacher interaction, very often the School Librarian is - again- a singleton in search of support! Joining the zoom of 100 staff members does not necessarily give you that encouragement needed. So many of us are finding, with the multitude of tools and platforms now available (and expected) for our use, it’s as if we were all “newbie librarians.”
One solution: our MSLA Collaborative Connection! The listserv is always a vital resource for assistance and information -- ask a question and get the wisdom and expertise of numerous answers! Still, to help with the isolation that is now a daily part of COVID, and often a regular part of the school experience, why not try “attending” a VIRTUAL Area Meeting?
Last fall, in search of a way to virtually connect with more of you, my co-Area Director, Maria D’Orsi, and I were fortunate to find two willing colleagues. Northeast Co-Area Directors Barbara Fecteau and Laura Harrington were excited to “try” an online collaborative meeting.
“Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble” attracted about 16 librarians to join in a two-hour gathering for ‘boiling, recoiling and sharing seasonal read-alouds’.
To continue with this camaraderie and connections, the group planned another seasonal celebration. “Love Shack in a Book Rack” was held before February vacation, and once again attracted about a dozen librarians. This time, Laura Harrington added a ‘book craft’ to the afternoon: folding book pages into hearts and shared instructions to participants in advance (Book Folding for Hearts).
While people folded, we reviewed recent book awards, chatted about books we love, and played Barb’s “literary game”, where ‘editing’ was definitely a game requirement!
Need more ways to connect? Join the grade-leveled discussions for school libraries: High School meets on a Tuesday at 2:30 PM with Ellen Sheehy; Middle School meets on a Tuesday with Laura Gardner; Elementary School meets with Emma Kwon on varying dates and times. If you are interested, connect with these awesome librarians!
Finally, remember to check the calendar of Massachusetts Library System’s upcoming events.
And always read the MSLA listserv for more upcoming area meetings, and - of course! - our conference details. It's our first time offering this statewide conference on a VIRTUAL platform. This is a super offering of programs, connections, authors and more! Join us March 20-22. Registration is open and the early bird discount is available through February 28th.