School librarians and school libraries are essential in school buildings today. What happens when schools go virtual? School Librarians step up! How can you as a School Librarian step up your virtual learning game? Besides staying abreast of school library news and blogs, staying connected with your school community is fundamental. School Librarians are reimagining school library services for distance learning from elementary to high school with innovation and staying at the center of solutions.
Digital resources for school librarians during virtual learning abound, from virtual learning tips to digital tools. School Librarians are setting up virtual libraries using a variety of methods. They are connecting with students, curating resources, promoting reading, partnering with public libraries, keeping maker culture alive, and collaborating with teachers. The versatility of curation tools like Wakelet allows School Librarians to do much more than post lists of resources, enabling them to create library newsletters, digital stories, and student reading journals. School Librarians are virtually encouraging reading in a variety of ways like promoting ebooks/audiobooks, virtual book talks, running virtual book clubs, doing reading treks, creating books with students and teachers, and creating trailers, book talks, and teasers of their own and with their students.
Along with providing library services virtually school librarians are of course teaching remotely using a variety of resources and tools. Lessons are taking a variety of forms around familiar topics, like using Library of Congress resources to teach primary sources. The pandemic has created new opportunities for teaching media literacy using current news. Teaching digital citizenship and research skills beyond Google has never been more important than while school is virtual, including the creation of formatted bibliographies.
School Librarians are shining during virtual learning, but I would like to offer some final tips. Make sure you practice self-care. Join virtual learning communities to stay connected, learn something new, and bounce ideas off of other School Librarians. Seek out virtual learning opportunities like the TeachersFirst OK2Ask series. And, as always, make use of the TeachersFirst blog posts and classroom resources to help both teachers and students succeed in the classroom and online.