Happy School Librarian Day!

Happy School Librarian Day! If you haven’t heard it yet today, THANK YOU! The work you are doing every day in your school communities is vital, important, and makes a difference in the lives of those you serve. If I could send all of you a bouquet of your favorite flowers, a tasty treat of your choice, and a basket of puppies or kitties to cuddle, I definitely would. I have no doubt that you deserve at least this much if not much, much more.

I would hope that your good work is celebrated not just today, or in the month of April, but all year long. If you are the person who is spearheading School Library Month celebrations, make sure to bookmark the resources created by your school library colleagues that are available for free at https://www.ala.org/aasl/advocacy/slm

It’s often easy to forget, especially in recent years, to stop and celebrate all of the good we put out into the world through our work in our schools. So often, we are reluctant to tell others about the cool things happening in our spaces that we make happen, because we are simply doing our jobs. Why should we brag about what is going on? As my friend Amanda Jones says, it’s not bragging, it’s advocating. If anything has been made crystal clear to me over the last few years, it is that most people have no idea what really happens day to day in a school library. If we don’t tell our stories, either no one will OR misinformed people will. NOW is the perfect time to share your story far and wide!

And, with the potential turmoil and stress you are feeling, it might also be hard to find the energy or possibly the time to share or even acknowledge the glimmers of awesomeness that happen in your school  library on a daily basis. I made the decision this year to prioritize my energy into sharing my school library stories with my local community which has resulted in me not posting as much (or much at all) on my social media accounts. There’s only so much gas in the tank and time in the day, but some of each should go into celebrating the small victories and wonderful accomplishments that you see each and every day in whatever way feels right for you.

We need to share stories with our stakeholders not just so there are accurate narratives about school libraries out there in the world, but to remind ourselves that gosh darn it, our job is FUN. And, we need to remind ourselves of that from time to time as it is so easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the day to day and to feel defeated by outside negativity. Being a school librarian is truly a gift, and I personally am trying to be more in the moment as much as I can to not only enjoy it myself but to see the positivity that results because of my efforts.

Case in point: I was able to go on a field trip with some of our students which included a stop at the local zoo, and I GOT TO FEED A GIRAFFE, as did the students who were interested in doing so. It was such fun to have this experience with this group of students I’d been working with for a while and to be a support to their teacher who is one of my favorite collaborators.

No matter what you do to celebrate yourself and the work you are doing to support your learners, please know that I and so many others are right beside you cheering you on and reminding you to take a moment to soak it all in. The many moments that make up the tapestry of your school library journey are a powerful testament to the relationships you have built as a result of your hard work, determination, creativity, and heart.

YOU matter. Your work matters. Thank you for being YOU and for being a school librarian.

And, just in case you’re interested, here’s what I have going for School Library Month. I overdid it a bit last year, so I’m doing a few specific activities, but I am also highlighting things that happen in our school library on a daily basis. I’ve shared this calendar with students, staff, and parents, so all groups know some of the fun things we’ve got going on.

Author: Courtney Pentland, AASL President 2023-2024

Categories: News, Presidential Musings

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