My colleague Acacia Wilson’s blog article Making resources visible really hit home for me. I appreciate that she, as a former teacher and new school librarian is motivated to bring the wonderful resources – both print and digital – out into the light and into the view of the school community, especially on the school’s website. Her endeavor over the course of the year reveals the progress she made was not as quick and transformative as she had hoped. She worked hard on the website interface, helped gather strong resources, participated in instruction, and helped students–but even then, it has been a challenge to make quantifiable progress on how many students are using library resources for their learning.
Why does this work take so much effort? The problems are not simple, and they involve so many different people that it is hard for one person to work on all of these advancements at once. The problem is not a simple quick fix because there are so many issues at play. The teachers need to value and know the library’s resources. The interface needs to be straightforward to use. Teachers need to collaborate with you to integrate library services into instruction. IT needs to support your efforts and help you make the log-ins more consolidated and the web platform more accessible. Students need to trust that your help with databases is worth the effort.
Our school transitioned our entire website to a new platform this year. It was both a huge challenge and an opportunity for me since I wanted to make a fresh start on the site as the new librarian, but it takes a ton of work to get a functional, engaging, attractive website built. I have to admit I did most of the work on my Christmas vacation and during late nights at home, and since then I haven’t made many changes to it due to lack of time that it requires. I guess there is always summer…and next year….