Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Year, New Goals

Writing my goals for this new year has been an interesting exercise.  While I am working to keep things measurable some of what I will do is create a welcoming and teen-friendly atmosphere while still maintaining that sense that it is a haven and a place of learning, something that is difficult to really measure in a tangible way.

There is a term in Denmark called hygge.   It is a word for which there is no easy translation, but it basically means that cozy, contented feeling you have when surrounded by a warm fire, friends, and a good book. NPR has a great little article with awesome pics to describe it HERE.  I guess, in a nutshell, hygge is what I'm trying to create.  

My 2014-2015 NHS Library Goals

1.  Prepare for Fish Camp
  • On August 15th I will stand before the incoming freshman class and introduce myself to them as the high school librarian for the very first time. Half of these kiddos I know because they are coming up from my former middle school, which is awesome.  The other half?  Well, it is first-impression time for them and I want to do the library justice.  I want to quickly and in a friendly, engaging manner let them know the library belongs to all of us, and they are wanted there.  Then I want to smile, shut up, and sit back down.  This isn't a time to drone on and on about the rules, or book fines.  This is a unique opportunity to invite them in to be a part of our library community.
2. Genre-fy the Fiction Section
  • Genre-fying the middle school fiction was, without a doubt, one of the best decisions I made.  I realize not everyone out there in library land is on-board, and that is okay---but I have to say having SEEN the difference it made for my students made me a true believer.  Not only is it easier for my kids to find what they want, but it makes shelving a breeze--which means those books are getting back out into circulation much faster.  
  • My plan this time is to sticker the books throughout the year and then be able to do the ole switcheroo towards the end of the year.  I hope this plan will make for a smooth transition into a genrefied library.  
3. Update the website
  • Our district has updated the district website---we have a whole new platform to learn, etc. I hope to get some training soon!  The website aspect is so important because it is what allows our library resources to be available 24/7 365 days a year.  
4. Grasp Scheduling
  • I am in a whole new world with scheduling, y'all.  I'm coming from a one largish room library to a two story, with multiple techie rooms on the top floor library.  Each section has its own schedule of availability.  I will also have a full time aide for the first time in YEARS, and thank goodness she knows what she is doing because she will have to teach me!
5. Learn new databases
  • I am SO thankful that our state is now providing database access again!  FREE our first year--AWESOME!.  BUT...these are slightly different than the ones we have had in the past so learning these suckers is on the list.
6. Connections (via social media, etc.)
  • I am a connected librarian.  I want the library to be connected, as well.  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Remind accounts have all been set up.  Now to market them!
7. Learn the curriculum
  • This will be a long process, not something I can fully accomplish this year.  The more in tune I am with the curricular needs of the teachers and students, the better I am able to assist.  
8. Hold one event per month
  • Whether it is a maker event, a lunch & learn, or a book club meeting, the goal this year is to host one event per month in the library.  I hope to add more than one, but am trying to set a reasonable goal for my first year.  Promoting these events and marketing the library in general are going to take time and effort. 
9. GT collaboration
  • I have been the GT campus coordinator at my middle school for many years.  I'm leaving that behind, but still want to be there for our GT kids in some way.  I have heard for years that "oh, the GT kids will be fine...they are smart and will learn regardless" which is true---but not the right thing to do.  I was a GT kid, and I have GT kids of my own.  These students deserve to also be stretched and academically challenged in ways that allow them to explore their passions and to learn to take chances without fear of failure (which is often how we learn, right?) Many GT students fall into one of two categories.  Either they don't give a rip unless they are interested, don't turn in homework but ace the tests, and are generally bored and wreaking havoc OR they are incredibly worried about their GPA to the extent that they don't want to risk lowering it by testing new theories and taking chances.  I hope to work with the coordinator and other teachers at NHS to create a passion-driven learning environment for these kids. 
10. All in all, learn the HS library
  • It is a shift, a curve, an incredibly exciting challenge.  I have a LOT to learn and will be out of my comfort zone, which is exactly where the magic happens if we let it!


  1. I am always so inspired by you. I know I don't comment a lot but I read everything you blog!

  2. This was a fun read, Sonja. I see you post about once a month, and I've read it in reverse order. You inspire us! SWalters, former colleague