Tomorrow our library move is over and the renovation of our library begins. For a year, I’ll be housed in our ninth grade center, floating to classrooms, and functioning as a “virtual librarian.” During lunch periods, we’ll be manning an internet cafe in our main building, providing laptops, research help and new books to students there.
I’m hoping to harness the power of web 2.0 tools, as well as working more collaboratively with teachers by visiting classrooms and taking our services into student spaces.
I’ll be sharing that year with you as we go. It will be a fascinating learning experience that I think will stretch my skills tremendously.
What would you do if everything you did had to fit on one cart? For a librarian who is used to managing a physical space, it’s a challenging and interesting question. I hope what happens this year sets the notion on its head of a library as “a warehouse.”
What will be missed about our space–students are already missing the sense of community, having a gathering place, and having access to what they need–can’t really be replaced virtually because they are at school and want to work together, read our Anime books, or come in and ask for help with something.
I don’t know that we can entirely replace that aspect of a library with a virtual space–in fact, I know we can’t. But, we can build a better virtual space–so that students can have exchanges of ideas there, get help, and interact with us. One thing I’m eager to roll out is using Skype to communicate with teachers on our main campus. With a web cam, they or their students can talk to me, ask me questions, share a book–and I can conduct “virtual” reference, so to speak.
We’ll be improving our website too, so that there are more interactive features on it for students, and more pathfinders so they can find what they need. We already have a student blog, but I’m hoping it can become a more active vehicle for communicating with students while we are physically closed.
I’m brimming with ideas–and in a way, it’ll be great to have the freedom to move about our building, observe teachers, and embed my role into the curriculum even more.
So, as we start this journey, I would love to hear your ideas–what would you do if you had to be a virtual librarian for a year? What if everything you did had to fit on a cart?