By Dorcas Hand
Here we are getting ready for a new school year – and COVID19 is still wreaking havoc. There is little clarity around how, when or how little of the time students will be on campus. In all three of those possibilities, HISD’s school librarians should be key players in inspiring and supporting a student’s love of learning, a teacher’s creative teaching methods, and overall literacy skills. During the online instruction phase, you may see librarians present information in conjunction with the classroom instruction, reading stories, sharing ideas for how to search or what to read, and pointing students and staff to the best available digital resources . Behind the scenes, librarians are participating in virtual meetings with school staff to share information about the curriculum or creating and recording instructional videos. Once schools reopen, the library can help by providing ways that small groups can work together and be supervised to assure social distancing. Librarians can also continue to support online learning experiences with those students that opt to learn from home instead of returning to school. Once schools are back in F2F session full time, the lessons librarians have learned about remote learning will continue to benefit their schools in creative ways.
The American Association of School Librarians recently published an infographic, School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions. HISD leadership – elected and in the administrative hierarchy – can learn from this short overview.
For each of three formats education may take as 2020-2021 begins, five aspects of the school librarian’s job are spelled out – and that’s where I want to focus your attention today.
Uncertainty is rampant in the entire world currently as we wonder what is the best course of action in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. But a school librarian on your campus can be a strong support for the campus and district leadership in every situation.
This blog is primarily authored by Debbie Hall and Dorcas Hand, but guest authors are welcome. If you have an idea to share, please contact our email below. Debbie is a retired HISD librarian and Library Services Specialist. Dorcas is a retired school librarian who remains active in AASL/ALA. Both support increased equity in school library access and support for all HISD students and campuses.