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Snippet of The Book Love Foundation Podcast: Being a school librarian during a pandemic #LibCollab, Season 5, Ep. 1 of the Book Love Foundation Podcast

From Audio: Being a school librarian during a pandemic #LibCollab, Season 5, Ep. 1 of the Book Love Foundation Podcast

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station description Celebrate teachers and a joy of reading with The Book Love Foundation Podcast.
The Book Love Foundation Podcast
Duration: 04:51
A discussion about being a librarian during a pandemic and keeping joy at the heart of learning for students. Complete with a librarian's account of how she handled the situation.
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A discussion about being a librarian during a pandemic and keeping joy at the heart of learning for students. Complete with a librarian's account of how she handled the situation.
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addition toe. You know, Kobe 19. We have so many other things happening in our society and our world, and all of that's going on and surrounding our kids while we're going about this business of school. And so what does that then look like for our library programs? And I've really had Thio for my own self, had to say in this moment, and Julie and I have talked. Talked a lot about this in the spring, like What are we doing? So with that, what are we doing? How then can libraries situate ourselves and librarians and our programs in a way that really focuses on the students in front of us and keeping that that joy at the heart of learning? And I think that's what libraries do so well when we sent our student is joy is that the is at the dead center of that. So that's what we're striving for in our program. I couldn't agree more. That's absolutely something that I strive for is that the library is a place where maybe they could get a little bit of respite from the, you know, academic rigor or the language that we use that really means that we are, you know, turning the process of education from something that should be rooted in curiosity into something that too often is done to students rather than with them. So, Julie, tell me a little bit about your journey over this past year. I know that you're one of the people who I consider a rock star in terms of like getting secondary students really continuously reading because you have all many different ways of doing. Our secondary students are like they're they're stereotypically, you know, pushed away from reading for pleasure A lot of times. So what? We're library journey like this year, it felt like and I don't know if you, too, felt the same. Like in March. It was like triage, almost right, like no one knew our district was telling us. We'll definitely be back at school on Monday, and I thought to myself, There's no way I was throwing books that kids like. I wanted every kid to leave with, like, 20 books because I'm like, I'm no, I'm not going to see you for a while. And I don't know if I felt like all of a sudden Liberians were like being super valued for providing access and helping teachers set up Google classrooms and doing all these things, which I'm not saying those things aren't important. But it scared me because I was like, I could see us like getting pushed away from literacy when I think we'd all agree, like that's the bedrock. That's the foundation of what we do is joy and justice through literacy. And so I was very lucky because with our school, like I said, we're, um, alternative school. We decided to like prioritized math and English. And the great thing is, even though we have a scripted curriculum, our administration and yells said, Let's do something different And the L A teacher said, Well, what books should we do, Miss diverse And I was like, Okay, so we did Santa in eighth grade and Trevor Noah born a crime and kind of like brothers in sixth grade, So we had all of these books, so that's what I got to do in the spring was just be like a co teacher in L. A classes, which was amazing and wonderful, and my like independent reading part was gathering all of these a lot of like the free things that came out in the spring, right? They weren't good. There wasn't a lot of own voices. There wasn't a lot of graphic novels. There wasn't a lot of, like engaging reading materials. So it was like trying to find really good things. Like Nik Stone advertised her fan fiction that she had written like years ago. So that would be the kinds of things that I would go into classes and talked to, like these other kinds of reading that we could suddenly have access to. Every student in our district had a chromebook so we could do that. And then the fall, kind of like cat was saying, like you were saying, Julia, I wanted to reimagine I'm like, Okay, I need to step back and, like, really like, push in with my library program and make sure that I'm continuing that. And I thought, I'm going to do this over the summer, I got a grant, and I did e books and digital audio books. I'm like I'm set. It was not a hit, right? Like it was not It was not what my students wanted. And I thought Okay, okay. And I was coming into classes and I was doing all of this like all of these visits and everything. And after about maybe a month, I was like, Julie, break it down toe. What works best is one on one with the students. So I started setting up individual reading conferences with all my students. Now, I do not have a huge school, so I know that someone listening to this could be like, Oh, that sounds great. But you could prioritize one class or one level or your l l learners or, you know, a class that Red really needs that independent reading for pleasure. And that was amazing. I could come into a class and book, talk these amazing things and show videos and authors and, like, let me know what you want. And I wouldn't get a much when I did an individual reading conference. Every kid would be like these six books is what I want so and have them ready because we went back in November. So when they came in, then at their desk would be like clean quarantine books in a bag with their name on it. So that was amazing way to do hybrid with them. Now, we're fully remote for a while, so I'm gonna be doing the same things, but with book deliveries again. Because I have, ah, smaller school so I could make that happen.
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