The LRC staff gathered for a family birthday celebration the day before we were due to return from summer vacation. When driving there we librarians had this thought: "I wish I didn't have to drive to Des Plaines the day before I am set to start again for the fall..." Those thoughts, however, were washed away almost instantly. The three of us, who hadn't seen each other in two months, fell back into a rhythm of conversation and ease, just as though we were with our close family. And that makes sense, because we are family.
As we move into this new school year there is a sort of ease that I didn't experience before now. Likely because each year before this one brought some change or another. While none of these changes were bad; on the contrary, as they were all very positive, they brought with them a bit of anxiety and unknown, as change is often accused of doing. Now, we are filled only with excitement for the coming year, and the change that will inevitably come in the form of new students and staff, classes and opportunities.
We look forward to getting to know each of the new faces, and starting new programs to get students involved in our awesome Maine West Warrior culture.
This week, the Warrior Library at Maine West joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating the dynamic changes that are happening in today’s libraries. April 10-16 is National Library Week, a time to highlight the changing role of libraries, librarians and library workers.
Libraries today are more about what they do, for and with library users as opposed to what they have for patrons. Libraries aren’t only a place of quiet study, but also creative and engaging community centers where people can collaborate using new technologies, learn how to use a 3D printer or just relax. Our library offers access to a variety of print and digital resources, including our collection of eBook and audio-books in Overdrive, a constantly rotating New Book Display-Readbox, and databases covering all content areas,that can be accessed in person or online.
Libraries of all types are evolving to meet the needs of the communities they serve. At the Warrior Library, we are transforming by constantly finding and instructing on new digital tools to meet the needs of our 1:1 classroom environments, and continuing to develop a leisure reading collection both in print and digitally to encourage a love of reading in and outside of the curriculum.
Libraries level the playing field for people of any age who are seeking the information and access to technologies that will improve their quality of life.
Libraries are many things to many people. They work with elected officials, small business owners, students and the public at large to discover and address the needs of their communities. Whether through offering e-books and technology classes, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers or offering a safe haven in times of crisis, libraries and librarians listen to the community they serve, and they respond.
The Warrior Library is celebrating National Library Week by partnering with our local library here in Des Plaines to get students their own library cards on Tuesday the 12th, and offering a relaxing “Color Your Own Bookmark” event with refreshments and music on Wednesday morning during late start, 7-8:30 am.
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April.
Summer ended quickly, as it does, and we librarians found ourselves looking down the tracks at our final 3 weeks before our doors would again be open, and the fireplace would be roaring its virtual fire...and the library looked a bit like this....
Problematic, considering that books in a library are usually on shelves and in some sort of order (Dewey what?). Given this messy state, we sent an all call out for some help, and found a small but very dedicated crew that helped make the disaster above a genrefied, organized, and all-patron-friendly environment. Genrefied? Yeah, we will explain that in a moment. First, check out our shenanigans:
This was truly an event. Books were everywhere, and each day we came with grand plans for how much we would accomplish. At the end of each day we walked out with our heads down, shoulders sagged, spirits beaten. It seemed impossible. Until it wasn’t. Slowly, and then all at once, the genres came together: Mystery and Thriller, SciFi and Dystopian, Fantasy and Supernatural, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Latino and World Literature, Romance and ChickLit and Classics. Each book found a new home on a shelf with books that looked, walked and talked similarly. Now, Maine West High School Library joined the Genre Revolution. We didn’t ditch Dewey (for those of you few who still know what and who that is!) but we made our fiction collection more accessible. Using Genre labels, we have created subsections similar to what you would find in your local Barnes and Noble. Most of us, when we shop or browse for something...anything...we are looking for only the things we like, the stuff we are comfortable with. As librarians, we know that reading works much the same way. I dig historical fiction and fantasy (this girl loves her dragons) and Geoff is more of the hard hitting current and historical nonfiction, pop-culture fun, what’s real what’s now kind of a guy. Those are genres. Geoff’s fall to the non-fiction more than mine, but they are subject specific nonetheless. Equally, students think much the same way. When we have a reader’s advisory (little chat with a student to find out what sort of stuff they need/want) interview we often will ask things like, “What do you watch on TV or Netflix?” “What sort of video games do you play?” or “What do you do in your free time?” We spend a few minutes trying to understand quickly where to point students. Now, we can point students to a whole shelf instead of authors from all over the alphabet, losing their interest in running from one end of the library to the other to find something worthwhile.
Most importantly, the reason we spent our last days of the scalding summer reorganizing, is so that you all, students and staff, would feel fully that this is YOUR LIBRARY. It takes all of us to make it work efficiently and well. We aim to please and take care of ALL of our WARRIORS. If you are looking for a book: ASK. If you are wanting to see a book in our collection that we don’t currently have: ASK. If you need help printing your paper or need some direction around the library: ASK. We are here to answer your questions and help you out!
Our own Jane Wisdom has an opening ‘game’ or challenge for her Juniors each year that has struck me as pretty profound, and so naturally, I have stolen it. Saying you don’t like reading is a bit like saying you don’t like eating. If I hate peas, and no one has ever fed me anything but peas my whole life, of course I am not going to like eating. But if someone were to say try this Lou Malnati's deep dish, well hey now, eating just got amazing. There is a book out there for everyone. Maybe you just haven’t found it yet. Let us help you, please! We want you to find the book/author/genre that makes you want to read, makes you excited to come in and look for a new book. Take up the challenge, we are here to help you succeed.