I’m back in school.
The Three Lakes School District has generously offered the Demmer Library space to house +/- 17,000 books and our staff offices for the duration of the construction project.
And it took me the whole first month to stop jumping up every time I heard a bell ring, convinced I was late for class.
It’s been more than 20 years since I was a student in the building. Some things have changed, but a lot hasn’t. And it’s been interesting finding how our library routine can fit into the flow of a school day.
For starters, it’s pushed me to be a lot more efficient in the morning. The fact that the school day is underway by 8:20 AM makes me feel as though I’m running late – and am usually surprised when I arrive at the storefront around 8:30/8:40 with the first book delivery of the day to find that we’re only half-way through our opening routine there.
But then the end of the school day rolls around and the kids and teachers are slamming lockers and turning off lights at 3:10 PM, but we still have 2 hours to go.
There have been some huge perks to being physically located in the school. 7th and 10th grade classes are working on research papers (oh, the dreaded research paper!), and they are being tortured by the requirement to have at LEAST one book and periodicals and documentaries as sources. And the strict admonition not to use Wikipedia. Oh, the horrors. Suddenly our little office is getting a lot of traffic from students (pushed by their teachers) to get help finding sources. And I have had the pleasure (really, it is a pleasure) of making an appearance in their four classes to provide hands-on training to using our library’s resources.
We’re working on a system for allowing students who have a Demmer Library/V-Cat card to check out Demmer books at school by “deputizing” the school librarians (technological challenges abound, so we’re going old-school with offline check out – it gets the job done), and we’ve even installed a drop box in the school for returning Demmer Library materials. (Shout out to the Fab Lab for making the fine lettering on a shoestring – free!)
I’m sad that I’ll only have an office there for 2 months of this school year and 3 or so of the next, but we’re taking every opportunity that it presents – and searching for ways to keep this connection going long term!