At the end of another busy day in the Media Center, I'm beginning to wonder what is flexible.
Flexibility in Schedule: I'm coming to realize that each day is different in the library. I'm trying not to use the word my, because it's not really mine- I'm just the manager. Not being fixed into a set teaching schedule offers a lot of options to a lot of users. But how do I manage making sure there is time to do the library management things? What about planning? I'm trying to flex that as the needs of the day dictate. This is really hard for me. I'm having to put aside my "control freak" nature and be flexible for the good of the school. Don't get me wrong, I want to do that- it's just contrary to my nature.
Flexibility in Space: The Media Center is more than a library. When I think library- I picture the tall stacks from my Alma Mater, looming over me on both sides- a sterile place. But our Media Center is different. Not simply a book repository, it's a gathering place for kids to read and discuss books over lunch. Not a vault with security gates, it's an open place with freedom to explore and share. You might find teachers with small groups, or teachers with large groups. You might find buddy readers- or even the few floating in from their literacy block to check out. Other uses: a talent show, character education awards, locations for guest speakers.
Flexibility in Resources: The print resources belong to everyone in our community. Teachers want to do an ongoing research project? No worries- with the age of online databases and collections- we're in great shape. While we still have some print encyclopedias about animals, we have access to online reference collections. So that means that the research can be done from anywhere! Add to that our online book subscriptions- and now we've expanded the options.
Flexibility in Me:. It's been really energizing to have a teacher call and say "Hey, can we come up in 10 minutes to find informational texts to practice looking for text features with?" It's been awesome to have a class relocate into the Media Space to work on gathering information and having support from 2 adults.
So maybe, just maybe losing control isn't such a bad thing. Because I'm not losing control- I'm shifting control. Shifting control from the manager to the consumer- and growing the best resource my school has: the students.