As students mature into adults there are certain life skills that they will need to be successful. They are progressing from dependent child to independent member of the world. Some of the most important things I have learned as an adult came from trial by fire. My hope with my adulting section is that students can get answers to questions they have about being an adult, without making those mistakes along the way. Adulting skills are not specifically taught to students throughout their school career. They venture out into the real world with questions, and our job as librarians is to seek out and provide those answers.
Planning Adulting Subsections
Brainstorming the subsections inside my adulting area was the first step. I compiled a list of broad topics that I felt like embodied the idea of “Adulting.” I came up with:
- College & Career
- Money Management
- Health & Wellness
Creating the Physical Space
When thinking about where I wanted this standalone section to be housed I needed to use what I had. I do not have a budget that would allow me to purchase any additional shelving, so I needed to be creative. After a large, much-needed weeding in my picture book section I had six small half shelves. I dedicated 2 sections to college and career and one section to each of my other topic areas.
The next step was creating signage to let students know about each section. I chose to use Follett spine label stickers and signage kits to get started easily. Follett had a great selection of premade labels in all of the areas I was looking for. I liked the idea of using specific spin labels for each section to help with easy identification for students as well as for my shelvers to get them back to this section, instead of accidentally back into the nonfiction section.
Freedom for students to access information is critical to our job as school librarians. Students have questions, and we have answers. This adulting 101 section gives students the power to explore and grow. It pulls for them information on topics they may be hesitant to ask an adult about, or resources that they didn’t know they needed. Adulting is hard; my goal is to make it a little easier for my students.
Author: Elizabeth Pelayo
Elizabeth Pelayo is the library media specialist at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles Illinois. She currently writes book reviews for School Library Journal. She is a member of the AASL AAUP Book Selection Committee. Also, she is a member of the nominations committee for the ISLMA Abraham Lincoln Book Award.