Saturday, August 16, 2014

And so it begins...

image created in PowerPoint using Word clip art

Yesterday we held  FISH camp.  All incoming freshmen were there to learn about and tour the high school. I was on the agenda--speaking to 5 groups of about 70 each rotating through the library over the course of a couple of hours.  

I have been working on what to say to these kiddos for about a week--in my head at least!  Regardless of whatever I was actively working on, my brain was still working on what on earth I would say to these students.  

Now, for full disclosure I LOVE talking to and with students.  I love public speaking.  I'm a theater girl at heart, so the getting up in front of large crowds thing doesn't worry me.  It was what to SAY that had me a bit bumfuzzled.  I mean, this is my first rodeo with a high school library gig! What the heck do I know?

A post regarding high school library guidelines on a wonderful library list-serve I follow, LM_Net, caught my eye last week.  Someone mentioned they liked the always-amazing Doug Johnson's expectations and the words really spoke to me.  I knew I wanted to incorporate them into my talk somehow.   I remember watching a video this summer made for kids entering the school that said, "We trust you." I probably watched this as a part of my Summer Learning Challenge run by Todd Nesloney, but I might have come across it through another post or blog---honestly, I follow so many great blogs and awesome folks on Twitter, etc. that I don't always remember who posted it, or where it was posted---but I DO remember the ideas! (edited to add credit for the video--it was from Michelle Luhtala and thanks to reader Amy Barbarino for that info!)

Here is what I finally came up with share with the FISH swimming through the library:

  1.  Welcome! I'm glad you are here.  
  2. I am new and we will learn together. 
  3. I want you to be in the library.  My job is MUCH more fun when YOU are here.  
  4. This is a place for you to Read, Think, Dream, Create, & Explore.
  5. We have books that will take you places and loads of technology, too.
  6. My expectation for you in the library can be summed up like this:  Keep It Awesome.  This is a place for you to be productive in a way that allows others to be productive. I trust you to Keep It Awesome.  
  7. If you need something and we don't have it, let me know. I will do my very best to get it.
  8. You come with a class or a pass.  
  9. We will host some amazing opportunities for you: book clubs, Makerspaces, & lunch and learn sessions. 
  10. We are connected: Instagram, Twitter & Facebook--look us up and follow.
  11. This is not MY library, this is OUR library.  Let's Keep It Awesome!
Information on fines and procedures can wait.  I have to get the kids IN the library before any of that really matters anyway----so my main focus was to inspire them to get IN there. 

It went well.  The kids were great; they listened and asked questions.  It was really funny during a couple of sessions to see the kids who went to the other middle school last year glancing around at all the kids who were at my middle school last year like what the heck is going on? when the kids broke out in loud applause and cheers when I introduced myself to the group.  ;)

I got hugs, kids asked me to save books for them for the first day, and just about everyone left smiling. I consider that a success!


  1. That sounds amazing! I'm so excited for you!

  2. This is great! Your students are lucky to have you. By the way, the "We trust you" video may have been from Michelle Luhtala.

  3. Thank you! and YES, that is exactly the video I was thinking about---will go back and edit post to add her name---thank you so much!