TASL Members Respond to COVID-19 Part 2

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.

Nancy Jackson from Westover Elementary says, “I updated my library website with more links to online books and educational websites, emailing this to the principal so she can send it out on the parent email. I also posted this information on the PTO Facebook site. I have been helping parents with quizzing AR when the county opened it up to quiz at home, giving usernames and passwords, helping get to the correct website, sending out what books have quizzes, etc.”

Tammy Sauls from Colonial Heights Middle School shared, “I spent an afternoon with three members of my 8th grade book club teaching them to make macarons!”

7E052FB9-F6CD-4302-A3A2-B4783F8E8AC5 - Tammy Sauls

Vicki Hines from Coles Ferry Elementary reports, “I’ve been packing food boxes for tornado victims, sewing masks for healthcare workers, posting videos of myself reading books with library lessons on my website, and connecting with my book clubs using Zoom.”

D8AFB0C6-DE3B-45E8-81E4-946BEEF15426 - Vicki Hines

Suzanne Costner from Fairview Elementary School shared, “I set up a Google Classroom for the faculty, so we could share tech Q&A, helpful links, and PD or virtual faculty meetings. I also created a Google doc of all the awesome online resources available to help educators, students, and parents. The list is categorized by the type of resource, and is updated daily (or more frequently). I am sending out a weekly library lesson for each grade level. And I sent out a Google survey asking faculty what they needed help with to offer distance learning to their students so that we can offer tech support or PD on the fly.”

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Jennifer Boren from Collierville Schools reports, “We are creating a streaming channel where we can post book talks, book trailers, poetry readings, and picture book read-alouds created by the librarians. We are also developing a district-wide resource page in collaboration with district leaders that will have easy-to-use resources parents can use at home with their children. This will be posted on the district site so that parents can get all their information in a “one-stop shop” format!”

Jennifer Webb from Northeast Elementary says, “I am connecting with students in their Google Classroom. To help with simplicity the classroom teachers have added me as a co-teacher in their GC. The Encore Team (Library, PE, Music, Counseling) have added a tab under “Topics” in each class and that is where we will be uploading our assignments/activities. Connecting with my teachers, I have created a Google Doc with a running list of websites/Apps that will be beneficial to them in their planning for online learning. Each website/App I have included a synopsis of what it has to offer. I have also created some videos and shared with them with tips and tricks on how to use GC as an online teaching tool.”

Caroline Mickey from Alpine Crest Elementary reports, “I’ve been doing read aloud videos for my kids, screen casts on how to access a lot of the material being offered for free right now for their parents/guardians, running tech interference with a lot of my staff, and participating in classroom discussions. I try to make myself as available as I can.”

Amanda Smithfield from Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet is hosting an online class  through Zoom to show students how to search the Tennesseean archives.


Amy Balducci from Arlington High School says, I have created a Design Collection that includes temporary free access to e-books and audio books. This collection is just a starting point for more resources, and I got the idea from another librarian on the Future Ready Librarians Facebook page. Click here to access.


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