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The rest of the story.....

Pat Hoppe

The best way to get your students and teachers into the library is to make them 
feel welcome and respected.? I love my school, our students, and my co-workers.? 
Middle school is fantastic!


One more thing, I don't know if ya'll have any online resources, but if
you do, I asked my principal for time at staff meetings to introduce
them to teachers. I was lucky and given 45 minutes to intro Britannica
and 1 hr to intro EBSCO online databases (which we get free from the
state of Texas!) but even if you could only get 5-10-15 minutes and show
them one thing, you'd be surprised at how much knowing what you have
encourages teachers to use it! When I interned at the middle school level, every so 
often the librarian would have a "Bagels & Books" event in the morning before 
students showed up. Using food is always a good idea! She used the face time with 
teachers to ask about what their upcoming projects were, weasel in some?library?PR, 
show off new databases, etc. When I started my job, I would mention in my 
newsletters, for instance, that February was Black History Month, and we have 
plenty of biographies just ready for some kind of tie-in project! The 6th grade 
English teacher took me up on it, and we did?just such a lesson together.?


In my experience teachers are stressed and busy. If you wait for them
to come to you, you will be waiting a while!

Try flipping through the English/History TEKS highlighting the research
related TEKS and then asking an English teacher if you could meet for 20
minutes and set up an appt then simply ask, "I noticed you have to cover
XYZ TEKS related to research, how can I help? I'd love to make this
process easier for you!" 

Alternatively you can ask, "I want to try to improve reading and
checkout in the library. I'm going to be setting up a special display
on (YA Lit, Graphic Novels, SCI-FI, Vampire books--whatever you want),
and I was wondering if you could find 15 minutes in the next two week to
bring your students to the library to check out books for pleasure
I got my science teacher to the library by showing him the online labs
offered by Encyclopedia Britannica online!
Even teachers who want to partner with you, may be overly stressed for
time so taking the imitative and going to them, really helps.
?in my experience, the best way to bring classes in is to
co-design and co-teach research projects; projects that produce better
results than teachers get when flying solo in a computer lab situation.

One thing thatwe are doing is increasing the number of student displays 

we put in thelibrary. I contacted the teachers and asked them to bring any student
creations to the library. We've had displays from the art department,
summer reading projects, science fair projects, even Latin and French
displays. The students come in to see their displays! Good luck but
don't give up. Reinventing your library is the challenge!
go to classes with a stack of books, take new books to lunch to show teachers, look 
at bulletin boards and then talk to the teacher about the content. Go to faculty 
meetings with show and tell- one reference book, one database. One on one, offer to 
come to their class to share what's new in the library or what's old but still 

here at my high School(pop2500) movement in the halls at non-passing periods is 

frowned upon. You can only come to the library with a class or with a 

pass,except between7-8 and 3-4. Howver, I almost always have those who cannot 

follow the rules- this has already happended 4 times this hour alone.? perhaps 

you should count your blessings, although I understand what you are saying. 


Sell yourself to the teachers as a way for them to not work as hard.

Offer to "take the kids off their hands for a few days" to do something

educational AND fun (Internet scavenger hunt, some tie to what they are

learning in class, etc....)? This time of year teachers get stressed out

and often that means they pull their heads into their shells like

turtles and don't see outside themselves.? If you offer them a break of

some sort they might bite.? All you have to do is convince one of the

teachers - then the other one will want to "play" too!


What about using the AASL Standards for the 21st Century as a guide to help the 
principal (and teachers) understand what you would like to do in a way they can 
relate to? Offer to go to the classroom and show students how to find accurate 
information for their research projects, offer to go to the classroom and read 
aloud a portion of a new title. It could be the teachers are very concerned that 
middle school students wandering the hallways will get into trouble... After they 
let you come to the room a few times, then work with the teacher on having the 
students come to the library in small groups to work on projects with you.


Maybe you can try a different approach. Last year I had teachers come to the 
library pretty frequently because of homeroom, but now that homeroom has been 
eliminated I've become more of a roaming librarian, and I try to bring the library 
to the kids. I do quick booktalks and presentations to classes every week and share 
with them new books and interesting titles. I have a roaming bookcart I take with 
me and they can check books out from me. You may try getting your foot in the door 
with the teacher by offering to do some booktalks or if that is too much time away 
from classroom time you could try offering to put together a list of resources for 
a unit. I think the important thing is to first establish a good relationship with 
your colleagues and that can take time. Good luck.?

Wow them with the collaborative projects happening with other grades so that 
soon, they are clamoring for your attention.Be very vocal and proud, you and the 
collaborative teacher share with everybody at staff meetings.? Displays of the kids 

?Get the other teachers talking, if it is just you telling them they should 
they will never see it.? If their peers are talking about the cool things
 their kids are doing and the depth of their understanding compared to 
previous projects or just teaching methods it will make a better impression.
AND sometimes, you just never will reach some people.




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