When the going gets TOUGH, the tough put on lip balm. That’s because sometimes you just have to press your lips together and get through those tough times. Let’s look at this weekend:
Friday morning we learn of the Nashville mayor’s confusing proposal to merge public and school libraries – without working with the school librarians on this and faultily assuming we do the same activities/have the same collections. This happens while 400 Tennessee school librarians are meeting at the Tennessee Association of School Librarians annual conference to Be A Guiding Light @ your library and where advocacy gurus Debra Kay Logan and Sara Kelly Johns are speaking.
Friday night I learn my house has been robbed and my son’s electronics (plus some hotdogs and pizza) were stolen. I learn how to conduct an investigation, how to interview neighbors, and how to speed clean anything personal that "some unknown person" may have touched. After laundry and dish washing, it’s 3 a.m. & I need to be up by 5 to prepare for the next day of TASL.
Saturday afternoon I learn my German Shepherd has torn his ACL, has advanced stage arthritis in his hips, and is losing feeling in his tail causing "accidents" to fall everywhere. This means the end is approaching too rapidly and my sons aren’t dealing well with it. Saturday becomes researching options and preparing for proposals to help 4 teenage boys deal with the upcoming loss of their beloved Marshall T-Rex.
While I may experience optical leaking, my Mary Kay lip-balmed-lips will not quiver, and I will keep going.
I need your support.
You cannot help me retrieve my #3 son’s only possession – an Xbox 360 he purchased with his salary from working at Taco Bell or my #2 son’s Wii system that he left with me for safe keeping while he is doing desert training in California in preparation for Afghanistan in March. You cannot magically cure my beloved Marshall.
You CAN help us educate the officials in Nashville, Tennessee, on the importance of school libraries and the differences between public and school libraries’ missions, collections, and activities. Educate not irritate. There must be dialogues and opportunities to educate and advocate for both types of libraries. That’s what makes us a great city with a great library. Who thought that slogan meant just the public library?
Here are some places to comment:
- SLJ’s article Nashville School, Public Library Merger Generates Confusion.
- Nashville’s Public Libraries to run School’s Libraries article in the Tennessean
- Library Merger Plan Stuns Officials article in the Tennessean
- Read the letter from Mayor Dean to acting director Chris Henson. Note that Dr. Susan Whitworth was not cc’d on this matter. As the coordinator of library services in Metro Schools, shouldn’t Dr. Whitworth have received this information before the press and at least been given the same opportunities as the director of the public library?
- Check out the School board’s letter to Mayor Dean in pdf format. (It’s important to read the real sources, but here’s my question: Where’s the plan?)
- Nashville City Paper’s article City, School library consolidation generates confusion
- NewsChannel 5’s report on the possible merger
- A view in the UT Scholarly Communication Issues that focuses upon territories. I think Bryn is missing the big picture. School libraries DO currently collaborate with public libraries. I teach my students how to access public libraries. I visit public libraries during the summer to stimulate reading and maintain academic skills. Our school libraries use the resources from the public libraries. We use databases like TEL and teach students the importance of having a public library card so they can locate e-books. We encourage our students to use the public library resources including the internet WITH their families after school since most parents cannot get to schools during the day and even early evening.
Public libraries are wonderful places with resources for recreational reading, but do they have the staff expertise to provide curricular support? In a typical 7.5 hour school day, I may spend 90 minutes planning with teachers for instruction. My degree in education enhances my ability to match resources with teaching strategies. This is far more than collection development. This is instruction. Perhaps that’s why in 1989 when I earned my library degree school librarians had to have more credit hours for their master’s degree and certification than general librarians. There is a difference. School and public libraries are meant to collaborate not dominate each other.
There is an article by NJASL on SCHOOL/PUBLIC LIBRARY JOINT USE FACILITY STANDARDS. which explores the idea of joint partnerships in great detail. Do you agree with the content? Is there anything missing?
As for me, my family needs my support tonight as we cope with tough times. I appreciate your support and I’m off to reapply the lip balm.