I don’t believe I’m overstating things when I say that we are now working through one of the toughest challenges our profession has faced. All educators are being asked to innovate at breakneck pace, exhibit grace and flexibility on a daily basis, and to keep education moving along for our students. School librarians specifically are faced with the task of figuring out how we fit into the bigger distance learning picture, knowing we need to continue to educate the students and adults we consider our patrons despite all the challenges thrown our way.
I am proud that we are all doing our best to keep information flowing to those we serve. I’ve seen many of you agonize over how best to get reading material (physical or virtual) into the hands of your students. How to distribute devices to those who might not otherwise have access. How to make sure that students can connect and that teachers have the skills they need. And you’ve done all of this while balancing the needs of your own families, your own communities, and yourselves.
Let me just say that from my perspective, we are rocking it! From the day that school closures were announced, school librarians did what we do best. We began to organize. We curated resource collections and made them freely available. Virtual communities began to spring up overnight, allowing us to support each other with ideas and friendly faces. A team put together the Virtual School Librarian site so that all students in the Commonwealth may have equal access to our skillset, not just those students lucky enough to have a school librarian.
This is where we shine, my friends. Overnight, the landscape in which we live and operate changed drastically. But we were not fazed. We looked around, assessed the new normal, and got on with what needed to be done. After all, we knew that the setting may have changed, but the charge was still the same - to be a source of quality information for those who need it. This is what we do, and whatever the future holds I’m confident that this is what we will continue to do.
Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay safe until we can all be together again!