When we were approached as content experts for this issue of Knowledge Quest, we wanted to frame the issue around a growth mindset for what school librarians wanted to take forward from a stressful pandemic experience.
What emerges from this collection of articles is that our strength as school librarians comes from being embedded in community, whether it is a professional learning community, our close relationship with teachers in our school, our knowledge of students and their needs, the visibility of our service within our larger towns, cities, and states, or our contact with other school librarians, local or distant. We survived the pandemic and emerged with valuable ideas for the profession because of the strength we derived from these circles of influence.
Learning felt very different during the pandemic, whether within a collaborative relationship like in “Envisioning Effective Digital Instruction” or through our own professional learning in “The Power and Pitfalls of Virtual Professional Development.” But the growth for our school communities was charged with meaning. School librarians continued to find power working with one another (and nonprofit advocacy groups) to combat staffing changes that would negatively impact student learning by depriving them of a full-time school librarian. Finally, new elementary school librarians thrust into their role during a global pandemic found inspiration in their connections with students and nature. The power of relationships appeared amplified during this time, even while we found ourselves missing the traditional contact we had come to rely upon in our profession.
As school librarians each of us has had unique experiences throughout the pandemic. Sharing what we learned with and from school librarians allowed us to celebrate our ability to positively impact students and our school communities in even the most challenging times.
About the Content Experts
Cathi Fuhrman is a high school librarian in the State College Area School District in State College, Pennsylvania. She is also an adjunct professor at Kutztown University and instructor at McDaniel College. Cathi is a past president of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. She is a member of AASL. She is the past chair of the AASL Chapter Assembly. She’s also a member of the ALA EDI Assembly.
Courtney Lewis (she/her/hers) is the director of libraries and innovative research at St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia. She coauthored the 2020 article “Reseat and Reconnect: Adapting and Advocating amid the Pandemic” for the November issue of American Libraries. She is a member of AASL.
Envisioning Effective Digital Instruction: Moving Away from Just-in-Time Information Literacy Instruction to a More Meaningful Approach
The Power and Pitfalls of Virtual Professional Development
Virtual/Hybrid Takeaway Articles
The Advocacy Efforts for School Librarian Staffing during the Pandemic
Courtney Pentland, Judi Moreillon, Kathy Lester, Tricina Strong-Beebe, and Laura Ward
Reinventing Reading in a Pandemic: School Librarians in Metro Nashville Harness Creativity to Support Student Literacy
Diving into School Librarianship during the Pandemic
Rachel Altobelli, Kris Fedeli, Allison Dunn, and Margaret Kennelly
Do You Know Your Administrator’s Priorities for the School Library?
Anita Cellucci and Pamela Harland
Welcome New 2020-2021 AASL Members
AASL Honors 2021 Award and Grant Recipients
Research into Practice Column
Examining the School Librarian’s Role in New Teacher Resilience
Rita Reinsel Soulen
Connecting Authors to Young Readers: Using the Virtual Landscape to Bring New, Diverse, and Inclusive Books into Your Schools
School Librarians Lead through Time
KQ Editorial Board Liaison Column
What We’re Taking Away from Virtual and Hybrid Learning
Author: Cathi Fuhrman and Courtney Lewis
Categories: KQ Content