Blogger Alyson Feldman-Piltch

Back to School: School Library Visits in 2020

Tuesday marked our first day of the 2020-2021 school year.

For a large population of our students, this is the first time they have returned to campus since March (some returned for our Summer Program), and many are eager to see the library, as it only opened a mere few days before we transitioned to virtual. One of the things that has been important to me throughout this experience, is encouraging students to continue to explore books and develop a love of reading for fun.

To me, one of the best ways to encourage this love is to allow my students time to just be in the space; looking through the collection and hanging out in our bean bag chairs. This year, for obvious reasons, I’m trying a different approach, and bringing the library to them through “Virtual Learning Commons Visits”.

Thanks to Zoom and a device called the Owl, I will meet with each class, on a bi-weekly basis for about 15 minutes. While not a typical length of time for a class visit, these shorter slots will allow me to share with students important tools and skills for developing that love of reading in ways that allow me to have some flexibility with how many classes I see on a daily basis. Some things I’m looking forward to doing are: showing kids how to checkout eBooks on a platform different than the one used in the Spring, how to search and browse the catalog, and how to put books on hold. I’ll also be able to use that time, in addition to other whole school virtual events, to do some book talks and highlight parts of our collection.

Part of me still feels like there could different ways to engage our students, especially since the library is still so new to them. How are you engaging your students and patrons during this time? What has worked before? What hasn’t? Please share below, I would love to hear from others!

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