What EXACTLY do Teacher Librarians do?



>> Jill Klees: Hello everyone
and welcome to SJSU School of Information Career Colloquia session. My name is Jill Klees and I am
your iSchool Career Center Liaison. So thank you for joining me this evening. We have the great pleasure to have three teacher
librarians representing different segments of teacher librarianship with for a candid
talk about what exactly teacher librarians do. This session is one hour. It is being recorded, so feel free to ask presenters questions
throughout the presentation. And you can do that by typing
your questions into the chat box. This particular session is going to be done
a little bit differently where we're going to have a moderator and she will be asking
the other presenters some questions. So I think it's fine to go ahead and
type your questions into the chat box as we're going through the presentation. You're also welcome to share your comments
on Twitter using the hashtag #SJSUColloquia and I will type that in here just as well
in just a minute when we get started. So I think we're ready to go. I'm going to hand this off to one
of our SJSU iSchool two-time alumna and lecturer, Dr. Mary Ann Harlan. So go ahead and take it away Mary Ann. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Hi, I'm Dr. Harlan. I am a two-time alumna. I got my MLIS in Library and Information
Science at San Jose State in 1999. I was working as a school
librarian when I did that. And I worked as a school librarian until 2008. I came on board at San Jose State
University as a professor lecturer in 2010. And about a year or so after
that, I took over administration of the teacher librarianship program at San Jose
State, which essentially means that I sign a lot of contracts and answer a lot
of questions and make sure that we are following standards to that end. So that is my role at San Jose. I am an Assistant Professor there now and I
teach a couple of school librarian classes. Joining us tonight is Dr. Loertscher, who
is another professor at San Jose State, who also teaches school librarian
classes and who fabulously introduced me to one of our presenters tonight. I was just curious to know what
kind of your background is. If you're working in a school library,
or if you're not working in a school, if you're hoping to work in a
school, what's your situation? And I'm realizing this didn't get updated. So if you could type in the backchat in the
poll where, you know, if you are in the program or if you're just curious
about school librarianship. And I see somebody's typing and welcome. We just got started. You haven't missed anything. Joining us tonight, let me introduce, thank you,
let me introduce who we have with us tonight. We have Shannon Hyman, who is, I'm
sorry, I don't how to pronounce that, but she is a teaching librarian
at a school in Virginia. And she works in a library learning commons,
which I'm sure she will talk to you about. That I'm sure she'll talk to
us a little bit about what that means and that means for her day. All of these pictures here, that's
a lovely picture of Shannon, and all of these pictures here that we have are
of her school library and things that are going on in her school library learning commons. We also have with us Lisa Cheby, who is a
teacher librarian at Verdugo Hills High School. And I forgot to ask you guys to put your URLs in
the backchat because they're not live right now but I'll do it once we started so that
people have access to your websites. Anyways, Lisa Cheby is with us. She is at Verdugo Hills High
School, which his in Los Angeles. Lisa is a recent, I think, certainly she's a
recent finisher of the teacher librarian program at San Jose State and I think
she's finished her MLIS now. Thanks. And so she is with us to talk
a little bit about what her day is like during at Verdugo High School. So welcome, and I thank you
both very much for joining us. So I'm curious before we get started,
we're going to take another poll just to give the presenters an idea of
where you're at in terms of this, and when they're answering questions. Which is are you in your
first year of library school? Are you somewhere in the middle? Or graduating? Or are you an alumni, like Lisa is? So we have somebody who is somewhere in the
middle and somebody who is in their first year and that's fabulous and it's
great to have you here. And you now have both of
the sites so that's great. So we have two people in
their first year so welcome and we're happy to have you here tonight. So we're going to start with the first question
and I think I will let Lisa start this off and then have Shannon answer
the question second. We'll start there. And the very first question is, what is it
that drew you in to school librarianship? Why are you here? What made you want to be a school
librarian or teacher librarian? >> Lisa Cheby: So question one, I'm really
happy to be here, thanks for inviting me and it's interesting because I kind of fell into
being a school librarian when I took a leave of absence and came back
and ended up in a position that was part-time librarian
and a part-time English teacher. But what made me want to stay
and pursue the librarian position as a full-time position is the different
focus that you get to have as a librarian. I liked that I could focus particularly on
literacy issues and information literacy and technology literacy in
working with students. And I could do so in a way
that felt a little bit freer because since I don't grade the students, then
I could just really hone in on these skills that I saw was so lacking in so
many of my students and something that I wish I had more time to focus on. And then also I get to that in a way that's
very collaborate working with other teachers and helping them implement that in their class. I also really liked sort of the variety of
tasks that you get to do as a librarian. So I'd been teaching for almost ten years
at that point and it was nice to just come and have a little bit of a change of pace and be
able to be involved in sort of more management, more professional development, activities and
also just curating programming for students to try to engage with them in different ways. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Thank you. Shannon? >> Shannon Hyman: Hi everyone. I'm excited to be here as well and thank you so
much for welcoming me and to get to meet some of you and talk with you tonight. I really want to affirm what Lisa was just
saying as well regarding wanting to join into librarianship in order
to be able to collaborate. The collaborative nature was very attractive
to me with other teachers, other staff members. But I would say also I'll back up a
little bit all the way to my childhood because I'm definitely one of those people
who kind of knew what I wanted to do from the very beginning and I can remember
when I was younger, I actually used to go up to our treehouse and I would bring
all of my books and line them up and just absolutely destroy them by writing
little spine labels on them and little places to check out with a little check out card. The whole nine yards. And I knew at that point that having my own
little treehouse library was just a precursor to what I would probably end
up doing the rest of my life. Although I didn't do it immediately. I taught for about 20 years before I became a
librarian and what really drew me to wanting to do that is that exciting opportunity
to be able to impact an entire school. And really quite honestly, an entire district,
rather than just the handful of students that I would be able to work
with, you know, a year at a time. So that was certainly something
that was attractive to me. I think additionally to that, I also found
it really an exciting opportunity to be able to get a seat at the instructional table in
terms of working with administrators, staff, and teachers, developing curriculum, thinking
about our school's goals and our vision for the future of our students,
and look at the students as a whole rather than simply
at one grade level. So I thought that was really intriguing and I
really liked the opportunity to be able to do that and have been given that
opportunity in my current position. So I truly do value that. I really also affirm with Lisa with mentioning
as well in terms of having that freedom. We certainly have standards and things
we follow and we are certainly people who are quite conscious of data and making
sure that we are making good decisions based on what's happening with our
students instructionally. But it's also really nice to be able to step
away from that a little bit and find out what that whole student is in need of. And sometimes the flexibility of our
program allows us to meet those needs in very different ways and can
be very formative for them. And I think that's really exciting as well. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Thank you. So a couple of sort of common themes that I want
to highlight that came out of that is the notion of being able to be collaborative and impact the
whole student as sort of a holistic approach. And certainly that was one of the
things that, well it wasn't what drew me to librarianship, it was
what made it my vocation. It was the thing that I was passionate about. So I can respect the fact that
is what you're talking about. That item of being of having a little bit more
freedom and being able to look at a whole school and do the sort of the sort of collaborative
approach to education that really are allowed in the school library in ways that
sometimes you're not in the classroom. So it's great to hear that
sort of those themes emerge and I can definitely echo and support them. Yes? >> Lisa Cheby: Oh I just want to
add something that Shannon said. It's nice to be able to have that seat at the
instructional table but still be a teacher also. You know it's distinct from
an administrative position. So that's something else that I also really
liked about it was the opportunity to have that but still be among the teachers. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Yeah, that's really
important and Jill asked a question in the backchat about one needing to be
a teacher before moving into the role. And that is really dependent on your
state and like everything in education, that means there's 50 different answers. It really depends on what state you're in. So in California, you have to have what
I've taken to calling a base credential, which is a classroom teaching credential. In other states you don't
necessarily have to have that. I'm not sure, Shannon, what's
the status in Virginia? >> Shannon Hyman: To answer your question, I
can't tell you specifically but I can tell you that I know that you are required to
get your Master's Degree as a teacher and then beyond that, you can go ahead and
get your Master's Degree with specializing in School Library Science,
which is what I've done. So really if you do that, most people have
been a teacher before they're a librarian. Although I have certainly seen people
that have gone through the program, specifically career changers that kind of
thing, and then they have stepped right into a library program without necessarily
having that kind of experience in the classroom. But my experience has been I think it's
incredibly helpful to be able to have that. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Yes, I would echo that. You know from my perspective
as somewhat of an administrator of the teacher librarianship program, I have
had a remarkably difficult sort of relationship with California requirements of
having that teacher credential first. But our program is built on the idea that
you have it and my experience with people is that generally better school
librarians are people who have already had classroom teaching
experience and there's an authority thing too where teachers are like, oh you know
what it means to be in my shoes. And that I find particular helpful. And you might notice that Sinead
put something in the backchat. I use this site all the time which is
the 50 state certification requirements. And also it has links to the states Department
of Education, which I need to look at. So it's really helpful if you're out of
the state of California that you look at that particular site in order
to have that question answered. But thank you for bringing it up. So I wanted to say about
being a school librarian is that it looks different than
being a classroom teacher. Interesting we were just talking about that. And your daily activities look different and I
think one of the things that Lisa mentioned is that you have such a variety of different tasks. So I wanted you guys to spend
a little bit of time talking about what your daily activities look like
and my guess is this isn't the easiest thing in the world to do because they probably
don't look the same from day to day. But if you had just a little bit of a snapshot. And Shannon, if we can start with
you because you're actually working in a library learning commons which I've heard
is pretty remarkable and a little different. And Lisa, I know you're working
towards that at your site. So I'm going to start with Shannon and
then we're going to follow up with Lisa. >> Shannon Hyman: Thank you. Yes, to start I should also say I probably
didn't mention this before, if you're wondering, my location right now it's
actually, I'm on the east coast so it's a little bit later
here and so I'm at home. As opposed to some of you
actually being in your workplaces. But I do also want to just mention that we
are working on a really unique opportunity in that we were able to open
our school three years ago. And so I was pulled to do a– oh thank you
I just saw your information about video. No problem. That sounds great. We had the opportunity to open a
school and basically design the school and develop the school and the culture
from the ground up and so in doing so, I was hired specifically because I knew
where I wanted our program to go and kind of community we wanted to build and it aligned
perfectly with what our principal was thinking in terms of a culture of readers in a
library learning commons kind of scenario that we wanted to do in our school. So with that in mind, our daily
activities are busy to say the least. I would say I guess want to ask first if you
think, would you like for me to kind of go through what would typically happen in a day? Is that pretty much what you're asking me
with this so I can be a little more specific? >> Mary Ann Harlan: Yeah, that's
the direction I was going. >> Shannon Hyman: Okay great. Alright so in a typical day, the
first thing that would happen in our library learning commons
is open access checkouts. And that's pretty typical for
most traditional libraries. Students are able to come in immediately and
take care of any library business they have. Simultaneously while that is happening, I am
also working with a morning crew of students who fully produce a live morning show
each day using some pretty interesting and exciting technology in order to do that
including video switching, audio mixing, as well as laptop and DVD interaction. And live anchors as well as special guests. And that happens on a daily basis and it is kind
of frenetic but it is really exciting to see and we designed that program in order to
be able to build skills in our students that they can continue to apply and use
throughout their school careers and beyond. So that happens first thing in the morning. Literally at 7:20 in the morning and
we go live about ten minutes later. And then directly after that,
we move into, oh and by the way, that is run completely by students. I'm simply just supervising that. So we do some training and then they run it. And then directly after that, we move into
generally speaking, a few fixed classes that I have for kindergarten,
first and second grade. Those are done within our regular schedule so that we can allow our
students some planning time. Excuse me, our teachers some planning time. And our students then come to me for
about a 30-minute lesson if they're in grades kindergarten, first, and
second grade on a rotating basis. Now again, this is pretty typical
for traditional type libraries. But in addition to that what's
happening simultaneously at that time, are continued open access checkouts
throughout the school as well as open maker space for our students. I'll be happy to talk about that later if
you would like but that's been something that has been incredibly successful
in our library learning commons. Simultaneously to that happening as
well, we have students that are coming in to research as well to work in small groups. We have something we have called a cognitive
coalition, which his pretty much staffed by parents who are volunteering to come
in and work with small groups of students. And that's happening simultaneously. So that pretty much happens
in the early parts of our day. And then directly after that, we are
moving into what we would consider to be our flexibly planned schedule, which
for the most part, includes our third, fourth, and fifth grade classes but can also include our
kindergarten, first, and second grade classes as well, depending on what their needs are. So all of those classes are
planned collaboratively and then co-taught with the teacher. And they are all determined at point of need. So whatever those teaching are needing, we plan that collaboratively
and then co-teach it together. Most of our planning to be quite honest
with you, because we're super busy, is done in our pajamas and that means we
do it via our Google Drive that we all use. And so we're usually opening a document
and planning from that direction. So that's happening pretty much for
the rest of the afternoon in terms of instruction in the library learning commons. But again, simultaneously to that going
on, we also have Makerspace happening and students rotating in and our
using our Makerspace area as well as students enjoying open access
checkout as well as students researching in smaller groups depending on other support
personnel that are working in the building. The space is used really to the fullest extent
and it is often changing and quite flexible. So meaning many of our shelving units are
on wheels and so it's not unusual to see that we would move actual furniture around
in order to accommodate a specific event or a specific lesson that's being taught. So that's the kind of thing that would
happen on a general instructional day. While that's going on in between time, I might
also have consultations with specific teachers or grade levels and I might also be
working to help troubleshoot technology. We do have an instructional
technology resource teacher who comes to our school only once per week and
he actually shares five other schools. So that leaves pretty much the balance of a
lot of kinds of technology troubleshooting and also training to a certain
extent and integration to me. I see a question from David to tell you
about how I manage some of that movement in the library commons and that is a key. Everything is done very intentionally and
very carefully planned in terms of movement in and out of our library learning commons
to control the chaos as best we can. One of the things that we use and have
been very successful with are wrist bands and they're the wrist bands that you
probably have seen for things like Livestrong or you know other kinds of
inspirational saying type things. But we purchase them with our library learning
commons name on them and we have green ones that our students use if they have
any kind of library related business. So basically the way that
works is at the beginning of each year I give each teacher a certain
number of wristbands, depending on the number of students they have in their classroom. As an example, if they have you know, somewhere
around 20 to 25 students in their classroom, they'll probably get about
four wristbands per class. I do the same thing with our purple wristbands
which are intended for those students who will be using our Makerspace area. Basically what this does is it
helps manage the number of students who are coming at any particular time. It also gives us a quick look when students come
in the door of why they are they first of all and also it confirms that they
have permission to be there. If they don't have a wristband on it's
probably because they are a wanderer and they might be actually
heading down to the clinic but it's also library learning commons is
more fun so they you know, hung out with us. So it kind of gives us a quick a little
management thing without me having to stop instruction or my assistant having
to get up and check on what's happening and it helps us to be able to manage
the space a little bit better. I've found that the wristbands
have been a little bit better than some other things I've used
in the past such as you know, the necklaces and things like that. Mostly because I saw the
note about the high school. They're cooler for our older kids and
so they do actually really like that. And coming from, which I haven't mentioned,
coming from a middle school, that's where I came from before I opened this school, wristbands are
really something that seem to work pretty well because they stayed on and didn't get lost. But if you're concerned about that, you know the
other thing that we do is we use a Google sign in that we have that's just basically a form and
that also has some accountability attached to it to let us know who is in the space at
any given time and it allows us to able to keep data really easily and be able to
check on where people are in the building to make sure that everyone is being safe. So in addition to all those things
during the day, like I was mentioning, we would have consultations as well
with different staff and teachers and I'm also part of our administrative team. I know Lisa had mentioned to you about
that seat at the table being unique for us and that we can be teachers while we are
also working in a bigger leadership role. And that is the case for me. I'm very fortunate that I am actually
considered part of the administrative team and that I am the instructional
connection for them. So I am sort of the liaison for the instructional piece whereas our
Associate Principal is sort of the liaison for discipline kinds of things that are going
on and then our school counselor would be sort of the student advocate kind of avenue. Anyway, together it really does seem
to work well but that also is a portion of my day is meeting with them and we meet
once a week to talk about the school as a whole and bring all those pieces
together and make sure that we are aligning with
our continuous school plan. I'm also part of our school
leadership which means I meet with grade levels and department chairs. And so again, just keeping all of that
aligned is part of my job as well. In addition to all of those
things on a daily basis, we would also be very busy planning
event type things like author visits, reading incentives, and that sort of thing. And then on top of all of that, of course would
be just keeping the space running logistically and by that I'm talking about
collection development, making sure that we have things
processed, processing interlibrary loans, taking care of any email requests that
are coming through, that sort of thing. Answering a question, my job is 12 months. My job is not, well, okay,
I'm not paid for 12 months so I do work pretty much the
same contract as the teachers. I do work a little bit later
and come in a little bit before. Really I would say a total of
about two weeks difference in that. But I would not be truthful if I did
not say that I work quite a bit more than that throughout the summer in
planning and meeting with the principal. And I find that to be quite valuable
because again, I know that I am aligning with what our whole school plan
is by being able to do that. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Thank you. You are remarkably busy. I knew when I asked this question that this
is going to open up a lot of like oh my gosh, look at everything that has to be
done during the course of a day. You've got a lot going on and it's
really, it's super impressive. A couple of things I want to mention
is that the idea of starting any school and this is a good way to lead into Lisa
because she's coming into an environment which is a little bit different sometimes. But the fact that you have this opportunity
to sort of kind of start a new school and build a program which
is always super exciting. I've done that before. But it really does kind of open
up these amazing opportunities. And you have taken such advantage of it
and have such an amazing, rich program. It's great to hear it articulated and sort
of described because that is what we all want to have happen in school libraries. So that is great. Thank you. Lisa, one of the things that we did is we
wanted to have an elementary and a high school or a primary and a secondary school library. So Lisa actually was a high school library. Might look a little bit different. It's definitely a program that she's coming
into which means there's probably tradition and there's types of things
that impact the way she works. But if you could kind of take a little bit of
time to describe your day, that would be great. >> Lisa Cheby: Yeah, absolutely. I think there's actually a
good amount of overlap I think with what Shannon has already talked about. But I think I'm going to talk a little
bit more generally because I feel like my days vary a little bit more
based on scheduling and teachers coming and how we do our– sort of
how I manage my calendar. Also it's very different coming into
a school that is a very old school with a very established faculty that has a
very set way of doing things and where sort of the politics of the school
are already established. And it's been a challenging
school as far as budgets and some administrative issues we've had. But you know in the library I'm very fortunate
to get a school that allows me to basically kind of do what I want and experiment
and try new things. So I'm very thankful for that. So the day usually starts out with students
coming in, using the library before class and a lot of time is sort of broken
up by students coming individually. And I think maybe there's
more of that in high school. So I don't have an assistant at my
school so I do everything from you know, the physical checking in and out of
books to troubleshooting on the computers to the whole curriculum design
and collection management items. So how I divide that up varies for me
from day to day and from each week, depending on classes that are coming in. And so initially when I started there I had
a lot more time because there weren't a lot of classes coming into the library because they
didn't have a librarian for about almost a half of semester before I started there. So I would be helping individual students
using the library, using computers, a lot of them just typing, printing papers. I started by inventorying my collection and
working on collection management would be a lot of my day as well as developing lessons and developing online resources
for students and for teachers. And then sort of targeting and marketing the
library to the school and to the teachers to get people to come in to the library. So that sort of a different
aspect that I think Shannon– that seemed kind of built into the
school design which was really great. Whereas I have to sort of build or
reinvigorate the program that was there. So you know the link to the website is
somewhere in there and that can kind of show what I've done as far as building
the online presence for the school. A lot of my work is really focused on getting
students ready for college level research and so in recruiting teachers to come
to the school or come to the library. You know I was able to use those tools to go to
the department meetings individually and it took about a year, year and a half for me to
kind of get a core group of teachers to come in a regular basis to do research
lessons and collaborate with me. So that's been exciting seeing that develop. So my day to day, like today I went in, I taught
three research lessons with classes on theories of research lessons with
one of the science teachers. And in between that, during lunch, students
are coming in to print papers, check out books. During lunchtime I hosted the book club
meeting and got to chat with those students and in between fielding all those sort of other
emails and teacher requests for scheduling time and videos and resources and that sort of thing. So sometimes my days are varied
depending on the time of the semester, teaching and helping students with research. And other times when it's much slower,
I focus more on meeting the collection and I've just been trying to make
the collection more accessible. We have books. The school has been there since 1924. We have books from 1924 in the collection. So it's interesting going through and doing
that and then of course there's the fundraising and programming that is part of your
job that you may not realize is part of the job but it depends on the school. So I do spend a lot of time trying to find
ways to raise money so that I can buy books and that kind of goes hand in hand
with the collection development. I know Dr. Loertscher is here and in his class
I created some wonderful sort of propaganda. Sorry I think my computer kind
of cut out there for a minute. And so Dr. Loertscher been advocating
for expanding our computer lab, expanding the collection, and
raising money for those things. So I've been in sort of grant development mode
also in addition to collection development. So those things sort of feed off each
other and you can of fit those things in between all the questions and the students
coming in and needing help with their papers or finding books or checking out books. So it feels my days are a
little bit less structured than what sounds like action in school. But it all sort of happens you know,
as you can kind of fit things in. And then I probably do a lot of programming. I bring in authors and our
local poet laureate comes in to do creative writing
workshops and things like that. So that's– I think I have kind of touched
on everything that I do throughout the day and just continuously developing those resources
and trying to you know, right now still trying to build a schoolwide program of research
and information literacy instruction. So I guess I'll open it up
to questions at that point. >> Mary Ann Harlan: So I'm going to
direct the question a little bit. Lisa has come into a library that has a
culture of very traditional librarianship and she's been slowly working to sort of
change and shift that sort of function there. And a lot of what she's talked
about is having to kind of reach out and do some advocacy and
then the grant building. Because you got your MLIS which not everybody
does in the teacher librarianship program at San Jose State, in which I highly,
highly, highly, highly recommend, can you talk a little bit, Lisa
about the electives that you took that you think helped make you
marketable beyond, you know the things that you are absolutely required to take? >> Lisa Cheby: Oh sure. I mean first of all I know the next question
in this is something about what I wish I knew when I went into this, and my only answer
is I wish I knew everything I learned in the iSchool program. You know, I really started off not
having any clue about librarianship and so all the teacher librarian
classes of course, you know, are things I could incorporate
daily in what I was doing and I love that the program is also structured in that way. I will say also the other classes
I've taken, I'm trying to think which were the elective classes I took. I remember I had to take Dr.
Tucker's online searching, which I believe is not a required
class for the teacher librarianship. Yes, so that class is amazing and has
completely changed how I teach research. You know, [Inaudible] so theoretically I taught
research but this sort of revolutionized my way of thinking about research and how
to engage students in research, particularly because so much is online and the
students think they know how to do research because they know how to access a web browser. And so deep into my understand of all
of that, I also took a metadata class, which I found to really help me
better understand sort of, again, the behind the scenes of what we're seeing. So much of our interaction with
resources is through the computer and so it helped me understand, again, how
we find things, how we classify things, and what we're kind of seeing
on the screen that's sort of under the hood behind the
scenes look at information. So all of that I think those are
two courses that really helped me. I'm trying to think as far
what other electives I took but basically all the classes just
really seem to fit together in ways that just always continue to push and inspire
me to understand our job on a deeper level. And I think what Shannon was saying before,
you know, we go out there and are advocates for this sort of higher level or rigor and the
larger picture in education for our students as well as what our faculty are trying to do. And that is a role that I didn't expect
to have but that I find that I really love and I find that I'm kind of good at it. So it just seems to be a good fit for me and I
really enjoy that a lot and being able to work with everybody that way and have
that larger impact on a whole school. And as Shannon said, possibly you know, the district will be needing those more
rigorous standards and deeper understanding of what our students really need to be learning
as far as technology and information literacy. And somebody has to be sort of the lorax
out there saying this is what we need. And so now sitting in a computer
lab, it's very exciting. >> Shannon Hyman: Mary Ann, can I
also add something to that as well? >> Mary Ann Harlan: Yeah and
then I'm talk a little bit. I'm going to answer David's question. But go ahead. >> Shannon Hyman: Oh sure yes. I just wanted to again, I totally agree
with everything that Lisa is saying about marketing yourself in all those ways. One little layer of that that I definitely
want to make sure that your students and these other colleagues have considered and
think about is especially when you're walking into a new situation, whether it be like
mine where we're building from the ground up, or like mine when I was working in a
middle school environment in a school that had been established for 50 years. You know, those are very different
kinds of environments but one thing that I would definitely say is key to
both of them is making that connection to your administrator and taking the
time to research your school's goals and their continuous school plan. Taking a look at your district's goals,
looking to see what the mission statements are, and making sure that every single thing
you're doing is aligning with that. That makes you indispensable
and quite marketable within, not only for your administration,
but also for your staff. And then again, likewise with your
staff, taking a look at that curriculum, making sure that you're understanding where
their needs are, taking a look at their data, see where the weaknesses are in the
students and know that at the same time, their knowing that so that you can
actually be a support to what they are doing and a team member, a co-teacher,
rather than somebody on the side. It's very hard to break through some of those
traditional thinking, traditional norms that are out there and I know that
is one of our questions too. But you know, it's very hard to do that without
you taking the time to do the research ahead. Making sure that you are
aligning with those things. If you assure that value of your alignment with
everything they need, what their stakes are, then they are much more likely
to pull you alongside them and see your value and their needs as well. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Thank you. It's funny we just did this in one of my
classes, this alignment between mission and vision and standards in what
you're trying to do and aligning with both the librarian and the school. It's just super important. Dr. Loertscher asked about your micro
space and I do want to address that but I'm very conscious of
the time at this point. So what I would like to do is to hold that
particular question until question four, which is this thing about stereotypes
and then that way if we run over, we can continue to record
but it's kind of there. So I want to put a pin in that question and
I definitely want to come back to it Shannon. But I am super conscious of time at the moment. I think one of the things that's important for
all school librarians to consider when you come into the school library is what is it
that brought you into the school library? So I wanted to ask this question about why
are you interested in school libraries? Are you interested in helping
kids explore their world? Frequently we hear it's B, that
you're building a love of reading. Although you may have heard from both
of our presenters tonight that may shift as you get involved in what you're doing. Is it teaching academic research or
building rigor like Lisa just talked about? Or is there some other reason that you're
interested in school librarianship? So I set a little poll up. You can either do it in the backchat the way
we've been doing because there's so few of us. Kind of keep an eye on it. Or there's a little A, B, C, or D up at the top
underneath your name and you can drop that done and that will give us poll numbers as well
and then we can see where people are at. But I just wanted you guys to think
through that because I think it's helpful in establishing you know, what it is that's
bringing you into the school library. In the interest of time, however, Shannon that's
interesting that building the love of reading because you do so much more than that. I'm going to move on. Yeah thanks, Sinead. So this was a question, what did you
wish you knew before you started? And let's go ahead and start with Lisa. >> Lisa Cheby: Yeah I think, you know, I think
that I sort of wish I already had the degree and knew everything that I learned
in high school before I started. I think the other thing is that I
wish I thought of this option earlier. Like maybe 20 years ago. I just love my job so much. I don't know if I would have, you know, fallen
into it if I hadn't gone all the other paths that I had gone along before I
ended up in a high school library. You know, I kind of wish I was more
aware of that as a career option and for some reason it just
wasn't really on my radar. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Thanks. I fell into too and I feel exactly the same way. Yeah, Jill mentioned in the back if you picked
D, can you kind of clarify what other means. So and then, so Shannon if you could think back, what do you wish you knew
before you became a librarian? >> Shannon Hyman: Well I think
I kind of agree with a lot of the things that Lisa has said as well. I have some funny things that I guess I wish I
had kind of known before I had stepped into it, although I don't think there's any going back. I'm kind of like Lisa. I love what I do. I'm very passionate about what I do. But one thing that I didn't
know before I started is that in this particular job,
there's absolutely no closure. It's like shoveling while it's still snowing. I mean it's just a constant amount of activity
as well as a constant amount of change. And that's inherent of this position. I think you have to be open to it but
it's not something that I realized until I was already well into it. So I think that's one thing that might have
been nice to know ahead is that this kind of job is just an ongoing kind of thing. You just really don't get
closure on really anything at all. The other thing that I would say too is just
I think it might have been more helpful for me to have an idea of the scope
of what I would be doing. I think my library program that I was in was an
amazing program and it certainly opened my eyes to what it is to be a librarian or whatever,
I'm not sure what you guys use as the title. We're school librarians and information
specialists is our official title. But basically I had no idea the scope of it
until I stepped into that pool and again, that is part of what I love about it. But I think I might have
liked that a little more. The other thing I think when I
was looking towards doing this, I think it would have been a faster transition
for me had I already started thinking about looking at education
sort of outside of the box. Because that is, as Lisa mentioned
before, one of the cool things about being a librarian is being able to
look at things from a different perspective. And so I mention that because
I think that's been one of the valuable things I've learned
along the way is simply being able to see what is working well out in society and
figuring out how you can hack that to see what that looks like in a school and how that can
benefit your community inside the school. So I think that's one thing I would say. The other thing I would say, having been, again,
in a school that was 50 years old and the moving to one that's brand new, I'm glad that having
had that experience I knew that I would want to when given the opportunity to buy new
furniture and books and that sort of thing, I would want to do that with
flexibility in mind. Making sure that I could use as much as I
could, you know, in lot of different ways. >> Mary Ann Harlan: So Shannon you're
alluding to a couple of things that's going to lead us right into this question which
is, what myth would you like to bust? And it also comes back to the question that
David asked about the makerspace, right? Because it's a little and the fact that you
call yourself a library learning commons which is a little different. So could you talk a little bit about this? In particular, this second
point that you just made about thinking about education outside the box? >> Shannon Hyman: Sure. I think, first of all, I'll tell you
my myth buster things that are sort of my pet peeve is that very quickly. One that I would really like to bust is
when people say that it is my library. It makes me just cringe because that
is the exact opposite of what I see and envision as a library learning commons. It belongs to all of us and
it is space for all of us. So that's one thing I would
definitely bust out there. Now my students in my community, they know
this, but people on the outside looking in, it is something that is a
stereotype that needs to be busted. Also the one of librarians read all day. We wish we got to read all day. That's all I can say about that. But that's definitely a myth. We do not have that luxury. The other thing I would say is I
would definitely bust that idea of libraries are quite places
to consume information. And that's where I'm going to jump right
into this discussion about makerspaces because we do have certain areas on our library
learning commons that are quiet and are better for students to be able to concentrate
and relax and sort of decompress a bit. But we also have a pretty
good hum going most of the day in our areas such as our makerspace areas. We basically teach our students that
library learning commons is a place where we have consumers and
producers of information. And really depending on the age of the
student, we say it in different ways. The language we use with our younger
ones we have makers and we have takers. And so your traditional thinking about
libraries in terms of checking out books, in terms of researching and that sort of thing, is the side where we have the
opportunity to take information. So that's the taker part of
the library learning commons and it's a very valuable part of what we do. But in addition to that, we have makers
and that's what we talk to our kids about. How it's exciting to not only be able to
consume the information or be the takers of the information, but to have the
opportunity to create that information. And we have makerspace for that purpose. It gives our students the opportunity to
explore their passions, to identify skills that they would like to learn and to begin
to tinker with those skills and try them out. It's a safe place for them to
be able to take risks and fail and then learn through the failing. And because of that and through that, we also
are able to give them the opportunity to learn that really all that is in their imagination and
in their hearts that they are passionate about, it really just doesn't come alive until
they have the opportunity to share it. And so that's a big part of what we do with our
library learning commons as well is make sure that we're building an opportunity for
our students to share what they do. It can be something as simple as at the end of every makerspace experience
our students are required to grab an iPad and document their process. So it could be a simple image that
they take or it could be a quick video where the student is kind of explaining
what they've done and the process that they've gone through,
materials they might have used. They're epic fails as well as any
successes that they might have had. And then we take all of those and load those to
our library learning commons page for parents to be able to see as well as you
know, the world for that matter. And it gives them that audience that's
very authentic and it really helps them to see a purpose in what they're doing. That's sort of the small end of it but obviously
we have lots of other opportunities as well for students to share what
they're experiences have been and that's been a big part of it as well. The last myth I would love to
bust though is this picture. That we all look like that. Even though she's kind of cute. It's true. >> Mary Ann Harlan: Lisa, we
have a couple of more minutes. Do you have anything to add
really quickly to that? Anything that Shannon didn't touch on? >> Lisa Cheby: I think she covered
a lot of, you know, typical myths. I think for me in the high school
there's this idea that like you know, my only job is to sit there
and check books in and out. And I didn't know either, had no idea
of the scope of what it takes to manage and develop the collection and really have
a thriving library program and that building of curriculum across disciplines. And you know, the work of being
an advocate for the students and for the faculty, you know, in that sense. So I would say that's the main myth I would
like to bust is that we just check books in and out and sit around and read. >> Mary Ann Harlan: I saw a great thing about
that particular myth, the checking books in and out and why professional librarians
have found themselves in that position. Recently written by Sharon McNeil. Somebody David is actually familiar with too. So that's a really good point
because I hear that a lot. We are very close on time and Jill had a
question that I think is really important which is the job outlook for teacher
librarians and hopefully everybody can stay on for just a little bit for any more questions. I would say the job outlook for
teacher librarians as always, tends to vary from state to state. It depends. Right now California is hiring. We're having a hard time
filling positions in California. It's become an actual issue
where we've seen a couple of school districts cut the
position because they can't fill it. Although to be honest, they're
not being very creative about how they want to fill that position. They just want somebody who's
already got a credential. One of the things that you may have picked
up on is that Lisa started her program, the MILS program already working in a school
library and that is very, very familiar. The San Jose program, I would say about 70% of our students are already
working in a school library. And they're trying to like fill
in and get their credential. We're noting there's a need in Virginia. New York is hiring right now. Illinois I know is struggling to fill positions. So right now there's a little
bit of an opening for it. A lot of this has to do with
the ways we market our role. Shannon spent a lot of time talking about
her learning commons, makerspace and sort of recognizing that basically what we're
talking about here is that you don't sit in the back corner of your library and read
books or you know, fill out invitations to your daughter's birthday party because
you just don't have time to do that. You have to be on your toes and you're working
all the time and you've got kids coming in and you've got teachers coming in and you're
teaching and you got kids making, you know, creating and making and posting schoolwide
video announcements in the morning. Or you've got you know, kids that are frantically trying
to finish up their IB project. All of these things. So you're always very quite busy and I think
as more people understand that's our role, then the more jobs there
will be available to us. The more people who think our role is to
sit in the back corner and read books, then the less jobs will be available to us. But right now the outlook is good. So it's something you know,
to kind of keep in mind. But it switches a little bit. Allison is listening in the backchat
but she's got an MILS and has come back to get the teacher librarian credential. I'm seeing that happen quite a bit as well. So it's 6:31, so we're at an hour
and I would like to make sure that everybody got their questions answered. So I'm going to stop talking now
and see if there are any questions. I want to thank both of you. I know it's late for you Shannon. It's 9:30. And Lisa I know you're probably like oh
I'd like to have dinner sometime soon. But thank you very much, both
of you for coming in and talking about what it is you do every day. It showed such a variety and
how spectacular this job can be because it really looks different in
every place, in every way, and every day. So thank you so much.

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