6 Best Practices to Make Your School Library a Place of Joy
by PRP Group, on 02/02/2024
Donna Gray is a coordinator of library services for the New York City School Library System. She has over 20 years of experience in K-12 education, library services, and higher education.
Today’s librarians face many challenges that we have no control over, the most obvious being book bans and restrictions. In this time of uncertainty and change, the most productive thing librarians can do is focus on what we do have control over: our spaces, our program offerings, and our unique ability to bring joy to student learning.
To do a self-check on your work and library program, I recommend reviewing library best practices. The Translation of Practice, a set of guidelines created by my city’s school library system and endorsed by the state department of education, offers clear and practical guidance that applies to both in-person and remote learning. Here are six key considerations:
1. Create a welcoming environment. The very first place to start in this work is to create a welcoming and respectful climate for students. When politicians restrict books that speak to our kids’ lived experiences, it might make them feel unseen, unheard, or unimportant. Making the school library a place where all voices are heard and welcomed is a step in the right direction toward creating a “third place” that accepts members of the school community as they are.