Today marks another milestone, the end of my fourth semester as an MLIS student. It is always good to see what I have come away with from being in school. I have learned a great deal about the technologies that are out there which do not have to be costly to school library budgets. Plus, I have learned more in regards to copyright laws and fair use (If I do go back to school after this is completed, perhaps it will be law school—but for now, the library is my home). I find myself looking at my students and the teachers and what exactly they are putting into presentations. I took it for granted myself. I understand plagiarism, but now that we have the internet there is so much that can be used. We have to always remember if we did not buy, create, collaborate in regards to other creations done by others, then is not ours and we must take the time and effort to think about what it is we are using and in need of before “making” it our own. As I stated before, we take it for granted about thinking before doing something. We need to make it a habit and test ourselves from time to time so as not to fall back into the mundane again. It has been a good semester, trying at times but very good!
I had heard on the news today about a possible bar exam for new teachers. I was a bit surprised to say the least. Doctors have board exams and lawyers take bar exams. Does that mean we are going to be paid as much as doctors and lawyers? I have a feeling that this is not the case. From what I heard, the exam would be rigid. Those who pass the exam will be courted by the best schools. A weeding process separating good from the bad. However, what does happen to those who take the exam several times before passing? Will they end up in low achieving schools? Are teachers like students, some do well on these types of tests but others do not? Becoming a teacher is not easy. It is a calling to serve families. Can an exam determine the kind of teacher one will become? I think not. First year teachers have a great deal of work. So to prepare for an exam that will make or break their curriculum vitae just might not bode well. We will just have to wait and see what the future holds for education.
An interesting way of teaching the meaning of Fair Use Laws.
I had a student send me the following poem:
My First Memory (of Librarians)
By Nikki Giovanni
This is my first memory: A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky wood floor
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply too short for me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big
In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall
The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books—another world—just waiting
At my fingertips.
It warmed my hard to think of someone so young to think of a librarian in such a warm way. What is this generation’s memory of librarians? I wonder. I know our roles have not changed. We still want to help and serve those who come and look for information. We want the resources they receive to be top notch. We want to create a passion for reading for a lifetime. So as each person walks through our doors, what is the impression we want to leave upon those who enter? I hope that I can leave that welcoming smile and a helping hand for what their heart seeks. For me, this is the lasting impression of a librarian.
As I dust the shelves of the library, I notice some books have not been touched in quite some time. Books that were donated over 2 years ago sit as a set, but with no one to open the pages. What is happening to books? I used to love to take one out of the library, go home and read over a long weekend. It was fun. I felt like such a grown up for having my own access to acquiring such materials. I also felt a responsibility that this had to be returned in proper condition. This is when I started to feel mature. I was a given a type of “treasure” and I was entrusted to keep it safe.
These days, I see the same patrons come to our quaint library. I find many of my students sitting in front of the computers reading books. I know this is what the “new” trend, but there was something to always holding those pages between your fingers. I understand that this helps the environment, but you think of countless pages written throughout the ages. Scholars and archaeologists pined through words and the meanings with delight. What intrigue! I know that future generations will become accustomed to the technology, but a part of me looks at this new idea with a bit of sadness. A piece of history is passing and today I am witnessing this passage. One day, I will be the one who says “I remember when stories where on a thing called paper.” I know that is taking things too far, but this is the beginning of a new era. Not all bad, just something new!
This Thanksgiving I visited my in-laws in Norwood, New York. It is located in St. Lawrence County with about 1,600 people living there. I am always fascinated by ist small library (as seen in the photo). I love these libraries because they strive to help the public even when funds are not available. In a recent election, the village elected to keep the library open by creating a special taxing district. (http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20111116/DCO01/311169958). This was exciting news! As much as I love having access to so many large libraries with so many resources, these are the ones who paved a way for the bigger libraries. I admire their dedication and service to their small communities. These are the ones who should be applauded for their hard work! Thank you.
“If we didn’t have libraries, many people thirsty for knowledge would dehydrate.” —
Megan Jo Tetrick, age 12, Daleville, IN