I loved the public library growing up, but have to admit I don't have that many memories of the school library-- because I didn't go there much. In my first elementary school, we got a grade for returning our books on time and selecting "proper" books. One grading period I got a 'B' because I forgot my book once, and I selected a book that was deemed inappropriate for a third grader. It was a 5th grade neighbor who led me astray by suggesting I check out a book called Trouble after School. In it, some characters dared to play hooky!
Fast forward a long time to the beginning of my career, when I started teaching science. I don't recall ever taking a class to the library at my first school (two years). A few years into my second school, I was talking about an upcoming project at the lunch table when the librarian said, "Why don't you bring your classes to the media center?" My response: "I can do that?" I don't think collaborating with the media specialist was ever mentioned in my education classes, undergrad or first masters, and I don't recall one of my own teachers doing it.
As a member of a fabulous interdisciplinary teaching team, I assisted every other week when students created a team newsletter. At the time, the best printer was in the media center. I spent some time there finishing the newsletter, and found myself looking around and thinking, "I like what they're doing in here. This looks like fun; I could do that". A few years later, the media specialist and her hilarious assistant announced their upcoming retirements, and a principal earned my eternal gratitude by allowing me to have the position if I agreed to work toward certification.
As I contemplated the move, I lurked on LMNet. Someone (I'd like to know who it was) posted, "One thing I like about being a librarian is that 90% of my interactions with students are positive". Then I discovered that IU's library school was one of the top-ranked in the country, AND that AASL was coming to Indianapolis in the fall. I took those as serious signs I needed to do this!
|AASL's Logo for the 2001 Convention in Indianapolis|