ODU Library Summer Institute Recap

Wow! This was a whirlwind of an experience. There are so many moments that I don’t even know how to put into words– I learned so much, and I really loved getting to finally put names and faces together! Some of my favorite moments were:

– Dr. Dickinson’s call for us to “be the light”, and her discussion of the 20% of kids who were on free and reduced lunch- it works out to 1 in 5 kids. Working in a high-poverty school, this really got me thinking about what I can do in my own school to provide as many options and opportunities to my kids as I can.

– Learn your students first. If you focus on the collection right away, you are turning your back to the students. Most of the collection doesn’t even need to be there! Once you learn your kids, you can focus on what they need from the library space.

– Future forward mindsets! I loved Monica Cabarcas’s take on “failing forward”- what can we learn from failure. It’s important to model failure and resilience for kids, so they see it’s okay to take risks. Even failing a few times is better than never trying at all!

Two things I want to explore further:

– The future forward mindset. I really look forward to getting more involved with this community! I signed up to be a part of the School Library Innovation Lab that Monica is developing, and it seems like both a phenomenal resource and a way to get involved with the library community.

– Learning more about how to incorporate student interest and choice into library programming. We touched a little bit on this in Amanda’s session, but I would love to hear more.

My greatest takeaway was:

– You can survive on your own, but it’s important to find your tribe! Getting to meet all of the people I’ve gotten to know online was such a great experience. We make each other better, and I hope that we will all stay this close when we are in our own libraries in the future!


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