Come As You Are

In planning for the conference for the 2022 DLA/MLA poster session Donna Carter, Greenwood Public Library Librarian, and myself, Woodbridge High Librarian fell into a brief intro:

Calling All Library, Tech, Social Media, Literature, Project, and Adventure Geeks – Come As You ARE! Come As You Are To Stay! Come As You Are…Repeat…

Presented by: Donna Carter and Harry Brake

Greenwood Library and Woodbridge High School Library

What happens when public and school libraries blend together and the difference is difficult to see? Amazing things begin to happen! See how school and public libraries come together to promote, nurture, support, and enhance individual passions, and interests, and allow students to have that “third space” in a time many feel isolated, even when surrounded by others.

When reality set in and life happened, and we found Donna could not attend, my first gut reaction was to just remove myself for this year, and yet, something ached in the back of my mind. I did not want in reality to not represent Donna’s vision, as well as the student;’ energy that made out school library, well, our school library, a media center a gathering place, and an exciting hotspot?

Amazing students like Anjolie, breathed life into what occurs at the library.

Why not brag about what makes our school library, something outstanding and an oasis for ALL that come however they are?

Students in three hours took the theme, took the events that occur in our center, and made it their own as they have in other ways as well.

We breathed life into the board that traveled to the MLA/DLA Conference.

Anjolie went on to add a virtual visit to our center.

A basic tenet was emphasized, School libraries are essential, they are coming back, and the more students that realize the status of school libraries and librarians in their own state of Delaware, the presence and lack of, the more presence they will be pressured to gain ground in all schools.

Using a spreadsheet of how many schools see a certified librarian as an asset, and as a detriment, to their institution, was eye-opening just for our local students. As we make this information available to the public in the form of students, parents, educators, and more, we move to educate individuals about why libraries are essential.

Not many people realize what a Day in the Life of a Librarian entails, and once you know, once everyone knows, then they see what is happening in their schools, as well as what is NOT happening in their school, both very valuable information to know as parents, stockholders in education and partners in building up experiences that will mold future community contributors.

I am beyond proud of this one microcosm example of how our students were able to take experiences and put them into shareable bits of information for the public. Isn’t that what school librarians do?

Representing their experiences at the MLA/DLA Conference came with meeting Jen Wilson, John Chastkra and Patrick Sweeney of Everylibrary.org, Amy Mosher at FSU, meeting Drexel representing the Information Science Program, Michelle Hughes, Denise Knestaut, (and getting info on the sources of naming the Brandywine Hundred!) Brianna Hughes, and so may more Maryland and Delaware librarians. I am eager to begin a journey of road tripping public and school libraries and starting a renewed energy of needs, insights, and possibilities that involve the resurgence of the value of librarians in education, for families, for students, for teachers.

It is long overdue.

Enjoy the deep dive into the contents of our board below, and please stop by Woodbridge High sometime and visit our experiences day in and day out in our Library Media Center!

About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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