Thursday, June 23, 2016

Cleaning Up a Library

I have the opportunity to help clean up another library (The library that I have now was filthy and had tons of junk in it.  It took my family all summer to clean it up.)

I've been asked to come help clean up another library in a different district.

This library is a bit deceiving in that it's absolutely beautiful.  The reading nook has an awesome mural (it was never used.  I'd kill love a reading nook and they have one that was never used. Sigh) The table and chairs are new and clean.  The book cases are sturdy.  There is a small section with a couch and magazine rack.  It's just so pretty. I did suggest moving some furniture but really that's not a big deal.

Then when I started looking at the books on the shelves... oh my.  The non-fiction section is fine, but the fiction section has everybody books mixed in with fiction.  Most of the picture books are labeled as fiction. Some of the pictures books were pulled and put on a separate shelf.  These books were organized by color... yea, I didn't know that was a thing.

I asked if a teacher, student, or librarian searched for a book in the library system if the system indicated that the book was on, say, the orange shelf.  It does not.  There's no way to find a book based on what the system says.

All the Spanish and Bilingual books were labeled 468.  It took me a minute but I finally figured out they were organized by the Dewey number for the Spanish language.  So whether it as a Clifford book (everybody book) or a biography is it was labeled 468.  I nearly had a heart attack.

The sad part is most of the libraries in this district are probably just like this library.  This district doesn't have (for the most part) certified librarians.  They put the instructional technologists in charge of the library.  They have paraprofessionals who run circulation.  This district prefers their instructional technologists to have a library science certification/degree but it's not required.

So this very simply explains why this library is in the shape it's in.  They don't have certified librarians.

I could get on my soap box about why schools need certified librarians.  I could rant that administrators think just anybody can run a library, it's just putting books on the shelf right?  I could go into a rage about how it's such a disservice for students to not have a certified librarian.  I could even complain about how some certified librarians don't show their worth.

But I'm not... maybe in another post.

For now I'm concentrating on how to put this library back together and have it fully functioning for the students.  I'm also focusing on what information and resources to share with the paraprofessional to teach them how to run a library that truly serves it's school.

I am so sadden by the state of this district's libraries.  I'm sadden that this is not the only district who doesn't see the importance of having a certified librarian.

I'll be consulting with this school next school school.  I'm hoping to make a big impact on this school and a small one on the district.

Here's to me doing my part in proving the need for certified librarians.

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