I'm not much on New Year's Resolutions. As a person who once worked at a fitness center, I can tell you that they usually don't work out. Even though I don't make resolutions, I do like to have written goals for many areas in my life. Here are some goals I have for my library in 2013. I hope they inspire you to create goals for your own library.
My Library Goals for the Remainder of the School Year
1. Do a better job of helping students find books they're interested in. I've kind of lost sight of this over the past couple of months. I started out with good intentions - teaching the students how to check out their own books and search the library's catalog so I'd be available to help students find books. Lately I've found myself right back babysitting the computer during checkout time, or working on something else that needs to be done. I really want to turn my focus back to my main objective - encouraging student reading.
2. Encourage student reading outside their comfort zone. I have some excellent readers at my school, but I often feel that they're not being challenged enough. I've been thinking about doing a Genre Challenge since school started in August, but I haven't had the time to get it together yet. It would be voluntary, of course, and I'd probably offer a prize of some kind for completing it. If anyone has any experience with this kind of thing, I'd love to hear about it.
3. Focus on student promotion of books. One of the most powerful ways to get students interested in books is to let their peers convince them a book is worth reading. There are so many awesome ways to do this with all the technology we have available, but if you have a schedule like mine, you may wonder how you could possibly fit anything else in. Here are a few ideas I'm tossing around in my brain: collaborate with the art teacher to have students make posters about their favorite book. Take a few of the best ones and display them in the library using a poster maker like this one. How about letting students make a book trailer? Here's a good website that explains how to do it. Does your library have a website or blog? Interact with your students on there. Tell them what you're reading and ask what they've read lately. To make it even simpler, if you have a few extra minutes at the end of a class period, ask for volunteers to share a book they've enjoyed. I did this recently and got great results!
4. Continue to collaborate with other faculty, and get someone new on board. If you've been following my site long, you know how I feel about collaboration. If you're anything like me, you have varying degrees of success with other faculty members. Over the next few months, I want to get at least one other teacher on board with what I'm doing. In their defense, most of our teachers are 100% behind all library initiatives. There are a few holdouts, though, so I'm going to try to have a breakthrough with one of them. When it comes to collaboration, small victories are large victories.
5. Focus on what's really important. With as many things that are going on at the moment in the world, our professional lives, and our personal lives, it's very easy to get discouraged. However, the silver lining to whatever troubles or tragedies may be going on at the moment is that it makes it easier for us to draw a line between what's truly important and what's not. Over the next five months, I'm going to concentrate on not spending every waking moment working. When I'm at work, I'll give it 100% like I always do, but I'm going to try not to spend my family time thinking about work or taking things home (when I can avoid it). Life is too short to spend all your free time working.
There are five of my library goals for 2013. Maybe I should have included, "get back on track with your own lesson plans!" I'm just a bit behind, thanks to all the special events we had at school last month. Ha ha!
What goals do you have for your library in 2013? Is there anything you would add to my goals? Share with us in the comments!