Consulting the Library’s Crystal Ball: Planning Ahead for the Coming Fall

If we’ve learned anything from the past year, it’s that the poet Robert Burns was right: the best-laid plans often DO go awry.  We’ve all had to pivot quite a bit, think on our feet, and be extraordinarily flexible. Although this is something that teachers and school librarians do a great deal in any school year, the ante was upped. However, the year-that-sometimes-seemed-like-many is coming to a close, with school generally ending toward the end of May or the end of June, depending on location and/or district. I’m quite certain that many of us need and want a bit of a break at some point during the summer. However, if you’re at all like me, you may already be thinking ahead and forming some plans for when school begins again.

Needless to say, much of my planning will revolve around acquiring materials and preparing for all of the activities related to the implementation of our library’s Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant. However, I’ve begun to think of other areas that will require my attention as well.

I don’t know how good your scrying skills are, but when it comes to gazing into a crystal ball and figuring out the future, I’m about as talented as Sybill Trelawney

Still, it’s important to remember that even she made some genuinely excellent predictions every once in a (long) while. That noted, I’ve given it a whirl and determined what I’ll be dervishing* about and around in the days and months ahead.


“Even the richest soil, if left uncultivated will produce the rankest weeds.”–Leonardo da Vinci

Our collection–especially the nonfiction–is in need of an update. I’m aware of this fact even without doing an official report on its age, and I am 100 percent certain that the stats will prove me right. As much as a part of my heart weeps whenever I must dispose of any books–even those about the PLANET Pluto that were published in the same year I graduated from high school–I intend to be wanton regarding weeding. I will just keep in mind that I can use the de-catalogued book pages for crafts, and if I can manage an “out with the old” mentality, I’ll be able to make more room for the new. It also happens that I already have (an embarrassing number of) new books that haven’t been catalogued and barcoded and such as of yet. (Does anyone else ever have this problem? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?)  I am actually looking forward to spending some (translation: possibly a lot) time getting these titles completely into our system so that they’ll be available to my students.

“You see kindness, compassion and empathy are staple items in our makerspace.”–Gina Seymour

My makerspace-making was halted last March, so our library doesn’t currently have one of these. I have waited for over a year to give this another try, and I do NOT intend to wait much longer. I have ideas, I have materials, and I even have ways to organize the materials! With all of this, and a little inspiration from the amazing Gina Seymour (who isn’t inspired by her?) and her book, Makers with a Cause (finally got my copy!), I am going to make this happen. Pun intended.

“All books are hyggelig…”–Meik Wiking

It so happens that Ms. Seymour inspired me in another way, and quite recently, too. I happened upon this article, written earlier this year. This past winter, I had discovered the Danish concept of hygge, and was not surprised to find out the other day that Gina Seymour not only knew about it, but had created a way to boost social-emotional health at her school by offering a hygge library program. Upon reading the article, I felt as if a light turned on in my brain and a soft, tinkly, yet insistent bell rang in my ears. Hence, once I get all of the aforementioned weeding and cataloging done (leaving my nice, quiet library workroom free for transformation), a new Hygge Hub will be born!  

What about you?  Have a gander around, and dust off your own library crystal ball; you know, that one on the almost-forgotten shelf in the corner over there. Then, see if you can discover what lies ahead in your future. What will your top three projects be?  

*For insights into the actual (and truly intriguing) Whirling Dervishes, go here, here, and here.


Author: Lia Fisher Janosz

I am Regina Libris.

I’m…a Bibliothecaria Rebellatrix (“librarian…because Book Wizard isn’t an official job title,” at Sharon Elementary School in Alleghany County, VA) wending a way through the seven ages whilst geeking out over Shakespeare & sundry other stuff. I am rather like Hermione Granger and have “conjured” floating candles in our school library. I’m an admirer of Eowyn and would place myself somewhere in the middle of the shieldmaiden-healer spectrum. I am inimitable, I am an original, and yet I am totally #TeamHamilton (see what I did there?). I’m a graduate of the Longwood University School Librarianship program and an avid reader and lifelong learner (and, apparently, Mistress of the Obvious as well). Any rumors regarding me having a crush on either Stephen Colbert or Chris Martin (or Benedict Cumberbatch or Andrew Scott) are completely…irrefutable. That being acknowledged, I am the loyal consort of an unsung prince of Poland and very proud mother of a tornadic, talented, and talkative wunderkind girl and a happyhopper jollyjumper bouncyboy who has a memory like an elephant.

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Collection Development, Makerspaces/Learning Commons

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