Blogger Building Partnerships committee

Back to School Connections

Recently I attended a meet-and-greet at one of our local public libraries. This library is located near one of our elementary schools. Along with my fellow district librarians, I’d been invited to the event as a kickoff to the new school year.

Although it was – and still is – a busy time for school librarians (book displays, helping teachers, moving shelves, getting virtual and physical spaces ready), I thought it was important to attend. Indeed, I was so very glad (and honored) that I did!

Along with the pastries (my favorite was the blueberry coffee cake) and coffee, there were enthusiastic introductions and reconnections. We met staff members, heard about recent summer programming, and upcoming kidlit author visits. (I’ve already put them on my calendar.) I was given an “I Love My Library” button. I think I’ll wear it every day!


(Image courtesy of the author)

A tour of the library’s children’s and teen areas came next.  I was pleased to hear so many great conversations coming from the shelves. There were talks about seasonal displays, Caldecott books, and genres. Also, I heard lots of “oohs” and “aahs” over tech gadgets, media spaces, and reading areas. Eager questions were followed by friendly answers, and ideas began brewing.  Also, there was laughter!

In the middle of the visit, while we were all discussing our love of reading, and books that were important to us as children, I realized some things I’d always known, but just never articulated. (1) When librarians connect, all patrons benefit. I know we walked away with many ideas, and I hope it was reciprocal! (2) We each serve our patrons (students) in many of the same ways, and each way matters.

Heading back to my own library to continue in beginning-of-the-year prep, I know I enjoyed this time very much because it connected me to librarianship again in a very lovely way.

I’m grateful to the Irving Public Library for the hospitality, and I hope we can one day return the favor. I also hope that we can connect more often. Blueberry coffee cake really isn’t required (although it would be nice).

Cynthia Alaniz is a school librarian at Cottonwood Creek Elementary in Coppell, Texas. She is a member of the ALSC Liaison with National Organizations Committee and a 2014 Morris Seminar participant.


  1. Marianne

    It was great having you! Thanks to all of our friends at the Coppell ISD for making the early morning visit.


  2. Debra Marshall

    Absolutely, yes to everything you wrote, Cynthia! As school librarians, we are often lone rangers, we get caught up in our overly busy days, and so we can easily miss the camraderie, the collaboration, the professional learning, and the inspiration we gain from just being with others in our librarian tribe. Thanks to the IPL for hosting the Coppell ISD librarians. What a great way to kick off another school year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *