In 2018, I began my adventure by being a part of the magic and wonder of a school library. At first, I didn’t know how I could add value to the library. I wasn’t sure what I could do or what my role was, and I had many questions.
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to be trained by two French librarians who connected our school to people from all over the world. This exposure and experience allowed me to explore present libraries and predict what future libraries should be. When I joined the IB (International Baccalaureate) trip, my role as librarian « Guardian » authorized me to meet fellow librarians who are collaborative, open-minded, and supportive. This mindset allowed me to explore various opportunities to create a meaningful library experience for students.
I believe that libraries are spaces that generate new ideas while engaging in reading, exchanging thoughts, browsing, and exploring new technologies. Indeed, new technologies have posed a threat to libraries with the expansion of smart devices that house eBooks and steer patrons away from print books. It may appear that libraries are losing their value due to eBooks. But we may use this to interpret the librarian’s role as one that evolves to accommodate these new attractions in a way that supports learning and growth, and librarians can motivate users to use these new means of exploring content.
Here is an example of what I used in my library space. One may think this could be seen as silly and unhealthy, but I created a box of cookies that bore positive reading quotes inspired by Chinese cookies. Students who demonstrated reading qualities were offered these cookies, and at the end of the year, there was an annual award.
I am designing a library that is easy to access, especially for children. I conduct library lessons where I teach students how we work, our library rules, and our responsibility as readers. This helps students feel confident that they can look for a book independently.
As the librarian, I have instilled in students confidence that they feel they are in a safe space and can trust and talk to me at ease. I am not just the school librarian but also a student’s friend. I have a trainee student who understands the library’s role and importance; she shares her thoughts with her friends, invites them to the lessons, and urges them to respect its rules.
I try to support all learners’ and teachers’ progress towards becoming better inquirers, consumers, and information creators. This support requires a solid vision, good planning, and consistent collaboration. I firmly believe that the library is every school’s HUB, BEATING HEART. It is the only space where kids can behave naturally and freely.
At my library, they always blow me with their motivation and creativity since we work a lot on Academic Integrity – By creating some posters and handmade signs, I will share some pictures of that. Mostly with MYP classes, I try to implement such a habit in kids’ daily acts. From the entrance to the library, I ask them to remember their manners and ask gently and politely for anything. One of my students made a poem on the theme and exposed it at the library.
By Tayssir Karouia, Nouvelles Generations School, Tunisia