Last week I was having lunch with a high school friend who had just gotten back from dropping her daughter off at our alma mater, Emma Willard. This is her first year at the school, and she’s enjoying herself. I asked my friend how she was amusing herself, now that both children are out of the house and among the things she’s going she mentioned the Mother/Daughter Book Club she and her daughter had participated in for four years. So of course my next question was how she was able to participate if the second half of the team was now in boarding school. My friend’s response? “She Skypes in for the discussions.”
How cool is that? Here’s a library program that meant so much to a student that she’s participating from afar! It’s the sort of program that we librarians create, knowing that there are passionate readers out there with whom we can connect, but do we ever think that they’ll do whatever they can to participate when they’re no longer “supposed” to?
This is a librarian who has had an amazing effect on this reader’s life, and one who will be remembered for years with great fondness.
There are others out there doing the same sort of powerful programming, librarians who will be remembered by their students not only as information resources or teachers but as people who cared enough to reach out and give them something memorable to take with them. Example? Courtney Lewis at Wyoming Seminary, with programs like The Night of Writing Dangerously, Paint Your Nails Pink and the recent Christmas Tree contest. When Alison Ernst was at Northfield Mount Hermon, she instituted Acoustic Fridays and Lounge Lizards – I’m sure those students remember that from their time at the school.
My point? While we want students to learn information literacy skills and become independent, lifelong learners, often it’s the other things we can do that have the biggest impact.