The end of a school year is always bittersweet. Everyone in the building is looking forward to a well-deserved rest – and that includes the staff. Thing is, we don’t actually rest. We change gears and start preparing for the fall. For many of us, it’s voluntary work, gratis.
That includes many solo school librarians. We must plan ahead because our regular days are so full. There are just so many days in a school year and we need to start each new year running. At this high school, I need to know which changes are planned to the curriculum and course outlines in order to support teachers and by extension, student research. I need to know which activities will be approved for the fall. Book selection, whether for courses or for book challenges, means reading the books in order to make informed choices. Questions must be formulated and edited. MakerSpace schedules and activities need to be planned. I could go on but what about the twenty days?
In this library, there are twenty workable days till the end of June. Twenty workable days to chase down teens who have forgotten to return their books before the onslaught of exams. I have stationed myself in the halls during our renovations and visited more homerooms and classrooms than I usual do at this time of year. My workload simply grows. We all know what teens are like. “It’s in my locker! Don’t worry miss, I’ll bring it tomorrow.” It comes in handy to know all of their names. Even in a school of about 800. Let’s face it. The library is their go-to place to hang out.
The renovations are not done yet but the library is open as long as there are tables and chairs and no construction work going on. This way I can continue to serve the students and teachers while co-ordinating the improvements. Students can’t wait till they can learn about all the technology coming their way. I continue to mentor two students who are working on their IB Personal Projects and continue to assist those in need of additional material for their research. I continue to assist those teachers who have started planning for new courses being offered in the fall. I continue to prioritize what needs to be done in the next twenty days and what can be postponed till August and September. I continue to say goodbye to the graduating class I’ve come to know so well.
These tasks have taken on an entirely different meaning this year as the decision-makers have abolished elementary school librarians here. It’s the ripple effect. Many have been laid off, some will be relocated and still others are waiting to learn what that means. That includes me.
Twenty days. Will that be enough?
Submitted by CA Case from PCHS