Have you ever found the perfect resource and wondered why it is not being used? Well, here is one way that I share library resources with faculty.
Each year, I host a Sweet Library Resources Party! The objective is to share databases, websites, e-book information, and even the library catalog with faculty. I briefly explain what each resource has to offer and how it could be used in their classroom.
By calling it a party it makes it less formal. Plus, most people enjoy a good party! Every good party has to have food! This is where sweets come in. The resources are “sweet” and so is the food.
Planning dates for this event is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about. For me, school starts after Labor Day so late October is early enough in the school year that the staff is willing to give it a try, but not so early they are overwhelmed with beginning of the year activities. I host two events, one being before school and the other after. It usually lasts for 45 minutes. I try to plan it on an “off” week, where there are no other meetings scheduled.
Even with all the thought that goes into choosing a date, I probably only have ten to fifteen people attend. This is only about 25% of the faculty I work with. To some, this would not seem like it is worth it. However, I feel that ten to fifteen library ambassadors have been created. These are the people who are going to share their new knowledge with others.
This does require a willingness to give up a bit of time. I know that time is precious in a school environment; however, I feel that the time I give up now actually saves me time in the end. The people who attend are able to access the resources without my assistance.
My school is a preschool to second grade building so the Pebble Go databases by Capstone are a perfect fit. This is one of the resources I have shared at this event in the past. In September 2014, this resource was accessed 683 times. After hosting a party in October 2014 it was accessed 980 times. I know the party was not the only reason there was such an increase in usage; however, it definitely helped!
During the event, I quickly explain the different resources available and then allow them to choose what they want to explore. The focus is on giving them time to play. Adults, like children, need time to practice. That is what this party does for them. I have a directions page with visuals for each resource that I share. That way the teacher can explore what they think would be most beneficial. These pages are then emailed after the event. In addition, when someone has a question later I can provide them with the direction sheet, which includes all usernames and passwords. It is quick, easy, and everyone is happy!
Even if the faculty that attend only end up using one of the resources that I have shared, then it is worth it to me. I am fortunate enough to work at a school where purchasing resources is easy as long as it is justified. Yet, even if I think it is the best resource ever created it does not matter if it is not being used. The more knowledge the teacher has about what is available the more it benefits their students. And that is truly who it is all about!
Author: Kelly Hincks
I am the librarian at Detroit Country Day Lower School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. I have worked as a school librarian for the past eleven years. I was a classroom teacher for four years prior to that. I have worked in charter, public, and private schools. My favorite thing about being a school librarian is the opportunities I have to work both with students and teachers. I love the co-teaching opportunities and connections I have been able to make! I have served on AASL committees as a member and chair. I currently serve as secretary of my state association, Michigan Association of School Librarians (MASL).