by Brandi Hartsell
With schools across the country closing to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, we were certain that our Tennessee School Librarians would be jumping in feet first to support their school communities. Districts across the state are responding in varying ways. Some are offering formal online learning opportunities while some are restricting the sharing of optional supplemental resources to those approved and disseminated by central office. We reached out to find out the different ways school librarians are meeting the needs of their students and colleagues. We’ll be sharing their responses in the coming week.
School Librarians Respond to COVID-19
Emily Squires from Houston Middle School shared, ” We are doing a school wide read! We are reading Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson! I have been sending out weekly activities for the students to complete! The students are also sending out twitter questions to the author!”
Rachel Best and Nicole Erwin, co-librarians at Sacred Heart Cathedral School, report, “We have been curating resource pages for our teachers and students to use in our distance learning program. We maintain and troubleshoot all educational software for our students and teachers (we are basically “on call” during the school closure to troubleshoot for students/teachers). We trained all of our staff on distance learning tools/resources via Zoom. We collaborated with our principal and other staff to assist in putting together a Distance Learning Plan prior to closure. We organized iPads and other devices to be checked out to students who lack technology at home.”
Jennifer Walker from Rockford Elementary School says, “I decided I wasn’t going to let this pandemic stop me from getting books into kids hands. With my principal’s blessing I set up curbside service for library checkouts. I sent out a google form for my families to use to request books and then did a Facebook Live to get the word out. I started it today and I had 5 families request and pick-up books. It was so rewarding and encouraging to see the faces of my students as they got some “new” books to read. I can’t wait to see what happens next!”
KC Brock at Highland Park Elementary has been sharing daily read alouds on her school YouTube account.
Shannon O’Neal from Martin Middle School says, “In light of recent events, I am so grateful I partnered three years ago with our local library to provide our students library cards from the C.E. Weldon Library in Martin. Each year, I rotate all the students through our library and remind them how to check out and read books through the Libby app. Once our district has a plan to serve students at home, I will be ready and available to assist with resources and technology as needed.”
Brandi Hartsell from Halls High School is using library social media accounts to share information about eBooks and digital audiobooks available to students in her district on the MackinVIA app.
Kelly Shipman from Raleigh Bartlett Meadows Elementary says, “I placed helpful sites on my school Facebook page and linked our library Weebly.”
Elizabeth Shepard from Discovery School shared, “The librarians in Murfreesboro City Schools compiled a list of online reading resources and created a padlet to share with our students! Check it out here.”
Blake Hopper from Powell Valley Elementary and Middle School shared, “Today I had the opportunity to ride with our SRO and deliver food to our kiddos. I brought along a box of books to give to them. They were so excited! We gave out over 30,000 meals!”