|Creative Commons CC0 from Pixabay|
Last week was the final week of the National Library's online course; I posted about the first couple of weeks here. In weeks 3 & 4 of this five week course, we were put into seven different groups and given a list of scenarios to choose from. My team chose to look at improving transitions between early childhood and primary, and primary and secondary school libraries. We bounced ideas off each other and then our team leader pulled them together into a document and shared that with the other groups. It was great to focus on different areas and then be able to learn from and comment on other groups' ideas. I have a page of little notes saying things like "have a theme for holiday reading" and "take photos of origami made by families"!
During this time, I scheduled a meeting with my principal. I had so many ideas from the course to work with but I focussed on our school's strategic plan and what I could do to support that. It went really well and I am hoping that I will have more time to spend on library initiatives next year.
In the last week of the course we were asked to plan an initiative for our school and given a planning sheet that had really useful questions to consider. I chose to look at increasing the amount of parents who visit our school library and take out books. In particular, I want to work on a kit collection that I mentioned in a blog back in October last year (para.5). If we have high interest items like telescopes, microscopes and sewing machines, to lend only to parents, then that will be a drawcard for them to come into the library.
The sharing of these initiatives meant I have access to detailed plans from other participants to refer to. Some considered the same goal as me, bringing more parents into the library, from a different perspective. Others had completely different initiatives. All of them have given me more things to consider and their plans are a blueprint to how they can be done.
One of things I was concerned about was just how I was going to find the time to implement all these amazing ideas I was getting excited about. Jeannie addressed this in one of her emails, and linked to a wonderful article by Robyn Pearce which gives her eight top time tips. I have heard most of these before but it was great to be reminded of them and take stock of whether I actually do them. The one that really stood out for me at the moment was about taking time for important, non-urgent actions. Having a split role between library and ICT often means the urgency of an ICT "emergency" takes priority over library activities. The advice to make an appointment to work on long-term goals is one I'll be taking in the new term. I'm going to have an hour put aside every Monday where I will close my doors, ignore emails and focus on library initiatives.
If you have the opportunity to do this course then I would highly recommend it. I think we have come a long way from the days when you learned only from your tutors. These days smart course providers are also tapping into the wealth of knowledge that exists in the other participants in the course. The combination of Jeannie and Tino's excellent course structure, their in-depth knowledge AND the experiences and ideas of the other course participants has made this Raising Readers course one of the highlights of my year.