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Dear LM_Net,

I agree with Jacqueline's commentary about exhausting ourselves during hard
economic times.  I have worked as a school librarian through several
recessions, a double-levy failure and tough fiscal times.  And each time my
resources were cut I cut back on what I did for my schools. It is better to
do a few things well then everything poorly.  And when my resources were
returned after each emergency I expanded my services back to their original
levels and, most importantly, at a high level of quality.

I have watched other librarians try to do it all.  Some because they liked
the martyr complex, but most because they didn't want to disappoint the
kids.  And for many when times returned to normal they didn't get back their
resources.  Why give back resources when there wasn't a perceived loss in
services?  Even if the services were poorly done and students suffered.
Administrators, teachers and parents don't necessarily care about the
quality of the services you provide as long as the doors remain open.
Because they aren't experts in our field they don't see the significant
impact we have on student learning.

However, when your doors close for part of the day.  When those special
services you provide administrators and teachers are reduced or eliminated
then they begin to see some of the services they are missing and they
actively support your work because it supports their work.  And when stable
funding returns they help you with your program because it helps them with
their program.

Currently, I have a very wise principal.  Our entire building is losing
resources in almost every department due to do the recession.  His comment
to the department chairs is don't try to do it all.  Do what you can, but
don't burn yourself out trying to maintain services your health can't
maintain over several years at these funding levels.  Don't start any new
programs.  Don't add additional curricular work to your plate.  Eliminate
the special services because your classroom size is rising and you won't
have the time to do it all.  Unless the community sees how the recession is
impacting their schools they won't see how this recession is impacting their
children.  Doing a poor job due to a lack of resources won't help students
in the long run.  Instead of doing everything poorly focus on maintaining as
much high quality instruction in the classroom as possible so the loss of
quality learning is kept to a minimum during these times.

He knows I won't be able to maintain the same quality of services to my
staff and students, and he doesn't expect me to.  What he does want me to do
is to select the services that are essential and to say "no" to people for
services I don't have time to do.  (I know - he's special).

Peter G. Mohn, LMS
Glacier Peak High School
Snohomish, WA 98296

On 7/20/09 9:06 AM, "Jacqueline Henry" <jhenry@GANANDA.ORG> wrote:

> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> Jacquie Henry, MLS
> Ruben A. Cirillo High School (GHS)
> Gananda Central School District
> 3195 Wiedrick Road
> P.O. Box 609
> Macedon, NY  14502
> 315-986-3521 x 3144

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