South Hall Middle Media Center Blog

Lounging in the Library

Looking Ahead in 2009

Posted by Laura Losch on January 27, 2009

Well, the coolest thing in my professional career happened to me on January 19th. I was tagged in a meme (what’s a meme?) by Buffy Hamilton, School Library Media Specialist extraordinaire at Creekview High School, Cherokee County. Now not only am I amazed that she thought enough of my professional opinion to tag me in an important discussion, but she herself was originally tagged by Dr. Joyce Valenza, a pioneer in our industry and blogger for School Library Journal. How cool is this! It’s six degrees of librarians! I have taken the last several days to contemplate the category at hand. Here’s some of my thoughts:

First and foremost, I want to continue a strong effort to instill the lifelong love of reading into the heart of every South Hall student. Middle school is that critical time – not quite full fledged teenagers, but no longer little babies – reading is make or break. If nothing ever catches their eye, their feelings, or their thoughts, I could lose them forever. It is with this in mind that I strive to be the purveyor of what’s good in literature, the ultimate example of what the pure joy of reading can bring to your life, the “knowledge” keeper of literature. This goal of mine will effectively be my goal throughout my 30-plus year career in education. It’s what I went to school to do; it’s what my heart feels is right.

Next, collaboration is always a goal in my immediate and long-term future. Without partnering with educators in the classroom, how can I ensure a fully integrated library into our school’s curriculum? How can I be a teacher of literature without the support and collaboration of the classroom teacher? I say this not only for Language Arts – which obviously holds a special loving relationship with the library, but of other subjects as well. I have been lucky and blessed this first school year of my career to work with an open and welcoming Social Studies teacher, Kelly Schollaert, who appreciates my help, includes me in lessons, partners with the library through various lessons and ideas. I hope to spread this same charisma to other subjects. I feel lucky that the staff of South Hall is very open to the idea of collaboration and I look forward to many, many more “lessons in the library”.

Another topic near and dear to my heart is the Big 6 research steps. I just adore the six easy steps to complete a successful research paper. They work wonders for middle school, because they are neither verbose nor complicated. They clearly and simply tell the audience what they should do to ensure a successful research experience. I will say – I could probably teach these steps in my sleep at this point. I’ve already taught the entire 6th and 7th grades and am currently teaching the 8th graders. I do worry about next year and the year after. . . .will the teachers want me to teach these steps yet again, even though I went through them this year? Have I been too excited about research that I’ve ruined my future teaching plans? Let’s hope not. I enjoy these steps and I think we all know a middle school student could use a repeat of lessons/ideas/concepts year after year, so perhaps there’s hope for me there in the future.

Technology is another topic near and dear to my heart. We teach the “electronic” generation – they text more than they call. How many students at South Hall do you think have a MySpace page? Dare I say the MySpace generation? With the incredible changing technology-world we live in, I want to be the connection between information literacy and technology usage. Just today, the technologyspecialist and I were commenting about an SD card in one of the digital cameras in the library. It is only 16-megabytes big! When was the last time you saw an SD card that small? It wasn’t all that long ago, yet to me and her, it seemed crazy to even own a card so small when today the norm is 4 GB or bigger. It was almost as if the 16-megabyte card was an antique to behold. The world is changing so fast and I should be on the forefront of technology (if only school budgets could keep up with me! 🙂 ). But technology is a big part of the media center and I feel it my duty to be aware of changes and to foster responsible technology use where necessary.

These are just a few of my thoughts of the coming year. Where we are – where we will be going. I could go on, but half the people that read this blog have probably already given up reading due to boredom and that’s okay. I’m just excited to be six degrees separated from Dr. Joyce Valenza and a friend to Buffy Hamilton. We truly share a wonderful profession – librarianship! Thank you taking time to read this post and visiting my blog.

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