Going 1:1 – I wish I would have…

I am a school librarian in the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, KS. We have been fortunate to have access to technology in a variety of ways throughout the building, including the school library. In January, technology access will change as my building goes 1:1 with MacBook Airs.

We are excited for every student to have laptops available with creative programs like iMovie and Xcode. We are hopeful that students will create amazing works to demonstrate their learning in new ways. We are grateful that they can access the library’s subscription databases and utilize research tools any time.

But I’m not going to lie, this change makes me a little anxious. I wonder…

  • Will teachers and classes still visit the school library throughout the day?
  • How will my instruction change? Will I move from classroom to classroom instructing classes for short amounts of time?
  • How can I help multiple classes if I am in one classroom and away from the school library?
  • When we think of providing opportunities beyond 1:1, what does that look like?
  • What do I not know?

I am also very excited to try new things, including

  • Creating a Chrome Extension to our website providing easy access for students.
  • Increasing the instructional piece of our website. Provide more videos and tutorials.
  • Branching out from our current way of doing things and figuring out how to serve our students and staff better.
  • Incorporating a chat/remote option for students to ask questions to the library staff from any location in the building.

I am excited and nervous at the same time, but I need your help.

What do you wish you would have done differently when going 1:1 in your building?

What was the biggest obstacle?

Please leave comments below. I would love feedback and suggestions.

Author: Becca Munson

Becca Munson, Librarian, is a National Board Certified Teacher with over 24 years of experience in education. Becca is the Coordinator for Library Systems in the Blue Valley School District. Previously, she was school librarian at Blue Valley West High School. She opened two buildings in Blue Valley and spent some time as an Ed Tech Specialist before returning to libraries. Becca supports over 45 librarians and support staff as they work to fulfill the mission of flexible scheduling, collaboration, and literacy.

Categories: Advocacy/Leadership, Blog Topics, Technology

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3 replies

  1. We are in our 3rd month of being a combo of 1:1 and BYOD. Grades 9/10 were given HP laptops, and 11/12 had the option to bring their own or get a school-issued Chromebook. This has presented some unique challenges that you will not face if everyone has the same device.

    Beyond that, here are my thoughts from the first few months:

    –Make sure your technology department is managing the device side of things, or you will be swamped with questions, repairs, “I forgot mine”s, and “mine isn’t charged”s.

    –You will be swamped with trouble-shooting for the first few weeks anyway, because that’s what we do.

    –Remind your teachers continuously that your value and the library’s value extends beyond “there’s a computer lab there.” Make videos, hold workshops, do whatever it takes to advocate for your expertise. For example, I made a cheesy infomercial with student and teacher participation to advertise our databases and some of the things I can teach, and I take a Sphero to certain events to remind people that the library has more resources than just books.

    –I have found that most of my teachers who scheduled lessons with me are still doing so, and many of them still like bringing their students to the library because they like the space. Since we are a little less busy overall, though (fewer classes coming in for computers), I have spent my newfound time enhancing our makerspace and creating after school programming, both of which draw students and teachers. I have actually had more classes come in for offline creative activities in the makerspace this year.

    –Remember that you’re not alone, and that you’ve got this!

  2. Becca,

    A few years ago, Jennifer LaGarde and I did a survey and wrote an article on the impact of 1:1 programs on school library programs. You can find a link here:


    All the best,


  3. Becca,

    We have been 1:1 Macbook for three years. There will be initial struggles with whatever learning management system you are on, but there will be very few tech issues – seriously.

    I do go to classrooms for direct instruction…I like it; I like the more private setting and showing students that their library (outside of physical books) is available for them to use 24/7. I have many classes schedule the library because they are just needing more space to “spread out” or have conferences or to make podcasts. There will be a drop in the number of classes because there is a “lab” in every classroom, but that just opens up new avenues for partnering with teachers.

    Finally, we use Schoology for our LMS — I love having a “Library” group that every student is a member of and being able to reach out and market the library and its resources.

    Embrace the change…it will be great!

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