Monday, August 20, 2012

Culture shock

It's taken some adjustment. Things are different at my new school. In both cases, the administration had established policies which really influence the tone of the library. It seems like I will have a lot more time to interact positively with students and teachers if I don't have to enforce policies I didn't put into place.

Where I am now, students can bring their book bags into the library and food and drink, too. There are no overdue fines (and hence no real emphasis on due dates). There are no costs associated with printing, and as a consequence, printing is not library-mediated.

There are generic logins on public machines so students search the Internet or for books immediately, without loading a profile to the local computer. There is a default printer, so I don't have to walk the kids through choosing the correct one, and the home page set on all the public machines is the library catalog. There is open wifi. Kids and their parents sign a usage agreement, and computer services actually gives them network access.

Other things are different, too. I'm currently suffering from a compulsion to lock everything up. But I look up and it's a whole different world. Students can get to email. Teachers ask students for their email, and they use it to communicate. Imagine that.


  1. Wow - what seems the most stunning is that most of the improvements would have cost your former employer nothing at all ... and would have done so much to improve that part of the school day for your students (not to mention for you!)

  2. Kristin, it was those sorts of things -- not being able to set a home page or default printer, wasting time receipting five and ten cents at a time -- that drove me out of that district. It is a large one, and my new district, a small one, has virtually none of those sorts of issues.