As I begin a new school year, I often reflect on what I hope to accomplish this school year. Being a librarian, I have learned to never count on finishing EVERYTHING on my To Do List. With the implementation of OPGES, I am forced to do self-reflection and I think this is a good thing. We often get in a rut and do the same things over and over. As I begin my 24th year in education, I find myself reflecting on what I have done in the past that works, what I want to try new, and how I can draw more students and faculty into my school library.
The KASL Summer Refresher is always a great booster shot to get me in the “Back to School” frame of mind. I always leave the refresher with a lot of great new ideas and new book titles I can’t wait to order for my students. I enjoy seeing my librarian friends from across the state. I can keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter, or through email; but I really enjoy talking and laughing with them in person. We can share what exciting things we want to do in our libraries and we can also hear each others woes and gripes. Being the solo person in my department at my school makes it difficult to find others who understand what I go through on the day-to-day.
As school starts, I then enjoy meeting up with my fellow librarians in my school district. We share what we are doing in our individual schools, and we of course have to bring food and eat. I have great colleagues at my school, but again it is nice to talk with others who understand my situation since as librarians, we are usually the lone wolf in our department. Another place where I can share with my fellow librarians is at my district KASL meetings. Each district has a Fall and a Spring meeting. Some districts even meet more often than twice a year, which is great! At the district meetings, I get to meet librarians in the counties and schools surrounding my county. To find out which district you belong to, click on the regions and districts tab on the www.KASL.us web page. Here I can compare what we are doing at my school with other schools in our surrounding counties. I am the only high school in my county, so it is nice to see what other high schools are doing in my area. Being a part of a professional organization is very vital to staying on top of what is going on in the world of education and your field of interest. The connections and friends you can make at the district, state, and even the national level is priceless. I encourage all librarians to join your local KASL district, as well as, the state level KLA/KASL Association. It is important to be a viable part of your school in this time of budget cuts and restructuring of school personnel.
As you get settled into your school year, it is then time for the Fall KLA/KASL conference. This is a collaboration between public, academic, and school librarians. What a wonderful place to network with librarians outside of your bubble. Public and school librarians have to support each other. They both offer so many different services that can benefit each other and their patrons. It is difficult to pick out my favorite part of the Fall Conference. Is it the fact I could bump into a favorite YA author in the hotel lobby, or the fun freebies I get from all of the wonderful vendors, or maybe the fun activities that happen after hours with different groups of librarians like karaoke, trivia night, or schmoozing with library gooroos?
It is not too late to set goals for your school year. What new technology do you hope to master? How do you plan on staying on top of all of the new books coming out this year? Which social media venue do you plan on diving into?