I don’t know how it is in your district, but in my large one we have two district “Media Conferences” at the head office twice a year. The second one was this past Thursday and I wanted to tell you about it because while I’m sure we’re not perfect, it was a good meeting and shows me how much librarians are supported here.
First off, we celebrated some truly amazing school librarians. The first was the district’s Middle School Teacher of the Year who just happens to be a fantastic school librarian. She was thoroughly embarrassed by the kind words and videos and applause. Too bad for her, because she got plenty of all three. Then we did the same for a woman retiring after many years as not only a school librarian, but also a trainer and program manager of us all in the district office. It was quite moving and she more than deserved the standing ovation.
The Teacher of the Year’s principal spoke to us, a rare treat to have an administrator take part of her day (bearing cake!) to show her appreciation and admiration of the hard work of school librarians. She said that as a scaredy-cat first year teacher umpty-ump years ago, it was her school’s librarian who she carefully watched to learn how to really teach. So she’d always known librarians are teachers as well and was happy our district was known for recognizing the hard work of our “media specialists.” I hope she talks like this to all of her administrator colleagues!
The next speaker was a professor from one of the two big state schools with great school librarian training programs (GSU & UGA, although there may be more). She was funny and engaging and had us all in the palm of her hand with her delightful Prezi-backed presentation, highlighting our influence in literacy work, with plenty of jokes thrown in for good measure.
It was a great day, allowing me the chance to talk to all of my mentors, official and unofficial. I also enjoyed the positive comments on my “You’re Not a Luddite” post which had recently been reprinted in the state “Media Matters” newsletter.
When I looked at my calendar earlier in the week and realized I had to spend a day away from my library, I was grumpy. I have classes! I have a book fair going on! I can’t possibly! But the kind of learning as well as appreciation and inspiration I took from the meeting were totally worth it.