Friday, August 6, 2010

The great potential in our midst

While librarians elsewhere will be moving from campus-to-campus, or even back into the classroom, we are lucky enough to have three new librarians in our district. One elementary, one middle, and one high school librarian, and, for two of them, this is a new career. The third has moved into the area. And while none of the rest of us have materials funding, one lucky first-year librarian even gets money to build a collection at the new middle school next door. I'll admit to being a little jealous, as I shelve my fifty-five year old books...

But it's interesting to see the processes of what we do through new eyes. I spent yesterday afternoon showing Infocentre, our so-called automation system, with our transplant. We hit an impasse over barcodes. I have never printed my own, that being one of the few aspects of processing I am willing to outsource. She didn't know you could purchase barcodes or generate them outside of the automation system... and she was the experienced school librarian. But it's good to think about these things again. I've had to opine on everything from district-level policies about fines and fees to the local intellectual freedom climate over the last few days.

I think some of the success of my school comes from an almost anthropological sense of having been inducted and complying with the larger group norms.  Our county librarians' group is also a strong one. In what can be an isolating position as a school librarian, you need that constant counsel at the ready. I have found so many like-minded individuals in the biblioblogosphere, I can forget that my local colleagues appreciate community, too. I'm thinking helping these new librarians achieve enculturation into this most fundamental group of allies and advocates is about the most important way I can spend my time as school begins.

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