For that last 4 years our library media center has lived within the maker movement. The kids have loved it and it encouraged a culture of innovation and risk taking, but recently something felt amiss.
Our school improvement goal for reading is students will deepen engagement with texts through extensive time for reading. Our library is (was) a buzzing place with tech tools, engineering designs, Legos, Magformers, but reading was a side note. A little asterisk on the experience in our media center and it continued to push me to ask questions and seek ideas. Why? What can I do differently? Am I okay with this? Are our teachers okay with this? Our media center was not living and breathing our SIP goal and it bothered me.
I realize that making spaces for reading in a library isn’t a new idea, but it will be a “new” experience for our students. I truly believe our media centers have an impact on the culture in our schools and the progress of our students. What we promote in our space matters and through reflection I realized that if our goal was to give students extensive time to read, but it wasn’t happening in the library, what kind of a message was I sending? Read…just not here. YIKES!
After many conversations with my admin, coach, and MTA, I realized it was time for a change. None of them pushed, suggested or forced this change, (I’m not sure they knew I was even considering this) but their focused and intentional conversations about our goals and beliefs guided me in this direction. I am sad to see makerspaces go, but I think for now it is the right thing for our school. I am unsure of how long we will go without makerspaces, but I am excited to see how our new space encourages the love of reading.
A shout out to my MTA, Taryn Hassler, for always taking ownership of the ideas in the LMC, brainstorming, creating and sharing her knowledge, skills, and craftiness!
“What’s required is a willingness to go out into the world with a curious and open mind, to observe closely, and—perhaps most important, according to a number of the questioners I’ve interviewed—to listen.”
― Warren Berger,