LOOKING UP AT THE STARS IN THE LIBRARY - GUEST POST BY Jennifer L. Freedman, SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA SPECIALIST
The library world is ever changing. It’s a wonderful thing. And the best part? Librarians have the power to mold it into whatever they want. Personal computers? No problem. Internet? Got it covered. Social networking? Under control. Broadcast studio? Sure thing. Planetarium? Give me a week.
Wait, what? Yes, I am fortunate enough to have a planetarium adjacent to my library and at the first opportunity to run it, I jumped. I have never run a planetarium before and other than Astronomy 101 & 102 in community college many long forgotten years ago, I know little about the universe. But there was no way that was going to stop me. I spent hours learning how to use the technology and even more time figuring out ways to incorporate into the curriculum. My first venture was a lesson on Greek Mythology and Constellation Origins with an ELA teachers. The students loved it. The teacher loved it. I loved it. Four more teachers booked the lesson with me the very next day. Next up, the music and math departments.
Being a librarian is like having an open door to opportunity. Sometimes opportunity walks right in. Most of the time, we have to go out and find it. Nobody came to me and asked me to incorporate the planetarium into their lessons. I went out and found them. Over the years, I have learned which teachers will allow me to experiment with their classes and which are happy to stay away. Every school librarian should know this. I seek out new challenges on a daily basis. I do not allow myself to get content in what I am doing because positive change in my world means positive change for the teachers and students. And I never, never turn down a challenge. Even when I know it’s something I can’t personally tackle, I will find a solution. Because even just pointing someone in the right direction or giving them an alternative plan is saying “yes, I can help you.”
Like a chameleon, I change my colors to fit into any situation.
But I do not use my ability to blend as an excuse to hide. I am out there. In everyone’s face. Always. Brining in new ideas or sharing a resources or inviting them to a new event. Some may find me annoying but for most I have become a valuable resource. Someone whom my school needs.
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Ed Tech School Librarian