Simplicity is something that school librarians, teachers, and students welcome right now. As Julia Hobsbawm, the author of The Simplicity Principle, puts it, “The human desire for simplicity is ancient, and especially evident during times in which society undergoes upheaval” (2020). Each day, educators face the overwhelming details of remote and hybrid instruction: Zoom meetings that require microphone/camera set-ups, multiple monitors, security settings, and technological troubleshooting; class schedules that fluster even the most organized among us; mask-wearing aggravations including fogging eyeglasses and earlobe bruises; and the constant influx of contradictory information about COVID-19 that floods our minds.
Children of any age are short on patience but teens, especially, crave quick solutions and straightforward instructions. Since many of us no longer have a steady stream of people flowing through our libraries, it’s important to reach out to students who may be looking for help. Motivated by other librarians and teachers, I created an interactive Bitmoji page offering easy access to all of our library resources. I embedded it into Canvas, the learning management system we use, and created a High School Library Course, where students and teachers can find icons that link to useful tools. By clicking an enrollment link, which I sent out to the staff, students in my school see the course on their dashboard with all of their other Canvas classes. With the home page in their view each day, teens are more likely to take advantage of its guides and resources.
Whether your district uses Canvas, Schoology, or its own website, you can design a one-page site that displays all of the important resources that fit the needs of your school community.
A List of Comprehensive Topics That Are a Simple Click Away on Our High School Library Course Page:
- Book talks
- Research databases
- Our catalog
- Library newsletters
- Class projects
- Book lists
- Link to the local public library
- Noodle Tools
- Reader evaluation form
- Novelist Plus
- Search tools
- Purdue OWL
- Book images that link to reviews
- The school website
- The librarians’ email addresses
Hobsbawm, Julia. 2020. “The Simplicity Principle and Why Six Is the Perfect Number for Better Management.” Strategy+Business (Apr. 28). www.strategy-business.com/article/The-Simplicity-Principle-and-why-
Author: Karin Greenberg
Karin Greenberg is the librarian at Manhasset High School in Manhasset, New York. She is a former English teacher and writes book reviews for School Library Journal. In addition to reading, she enjoys animals, walking, hiking, and spending time with her family. Follow her book account on Instagram @bookswithkg.