2 thoughts on “Woes? Don’t let it stop you…”

  1. I saw this twitter post earlier and am still a bit conflicted about how to respond. I agree that budget woes should never be used as an excuse to stop learning, exploring, creating, and playing, but they sure can make it more difficult. Let me share a dilemma I am facing and invite everyone to help me co-create some solutions (I’ll be doing this with my staff at school as well). I work in a public school which serves just under 1500 students in 9 grade levels (K-8). I manage two libraries, across campus from each other. One serves grades K- 4, the other serves grades 5 – 8. I am responsible for every aspect of the media program from fundraising to collection development to program design & teaching to cleaning the bookshelves.

    To fully function as dynamic, open, flexibly-scheduled centers, which allow students to come and go all day, classes to come in as necessary, and me to teach, co-plan with teachers, and support instruction in classrooms, tech labs and both media centers, I need at least one, and usually two people in each library to check out books, assist students, help pull resources, and re-shelve books all day each day. I currently have two assistants (one for each library) and several parent volunteers to help make this work. This allows me to create, explore and bring new ideas and options for programs and learning experiences, including emerging technologies, to teachers and students.

    Due to budget cuts, I’ve been told to make plans for having no paid paraprofessional staff at all next year, but the expectation remains that both libraries will be open all day every day, and I will provide the same level of service to the teachers and students. While volunteers are wonderful, they are not plentiful and are not expected to show up every day. So, my dilemma is how to best provide exceptional library service to 1500 kids and 100 teachers in nine grade levels in two libraries with no staff other than myself.

    I am kicking around a lot of ideas – many involving using Web 2.0 tools to do some of the work and to help teach, but I would love to hear Tame the Web readers’ brilliant comments, ideas, and insights. After all, this blog (and others like it) is a new way to get ideas and help that was not available to me when I was in library school! I’m not one to give up or stop learning, playing, or creating. I will use every tool at my fingertips (literally) to keep doing the right thing for my kids, my patrons, my teachers. I’d love it it you’d help me do that!

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