You say Goodbye ….. I say Hello!


This is my last week at Lamar Library.  It’s been a wild and transformative three years.  When I started at Lamar, I moved EVERY single book in the library.  I spent the summer re-organizing, updating furniture, and adding teen friendly design elements as well as creating a Google Site resource for staff and students.

I moved the computers from the front of the library and added cafe seating so that when students walked by the library they wouldn’t see dangling cords, but other students reading, studying, and enjoying the library.

Before and After

Top half is before 2012 and after 2012. Bottom half is before 2012 and after 2015.

I also removed a lot of encyclopedia sets including an “About the Author” set from the 1960s!  This freed up a lot of space and allowed me to have a long queue of patrons if I needed it (Or maybe practice for TLA book cart drills.)

The new shelf space also allowed me to create a showcase where I organized books by genre and gave them all facetime! It’s become the go to spot for most of my students because it’s easier to look at a small section of a genre than it is to browse a long shelf of spines.

Books organized by genre

Books organized by genre and ALL faced out

Reorganizing and decorating go a long way, but a change in programming is what really made the difference at Lamar Library. I started makerspace programming in May of 2013, but finally got funding for real supplies in April 2014. Plus, I got permission to have Maker Monday during the school day.  These changes in our maker programming this year have completely changed the library.

Our Makerspace is hopping with activity before school, during Advisory, and especially during Maker Monday.  See more of my makerspace in action on this Tackk I made about the Lamar library transformation:

Librarian as Instructional Partner

I’ve also spent the last three years making sure teachers see me as an instructional partner.  I think the hardest thing about leaving Lamar, is that this year this aspect of the transformation has come to fruition. I love working with my teachers at Lamar and I love seeing the students on a day to day basis and teaching alongside my teachers.


So, now that I’m going to a new school that needs the same type of TLC….

What will be the same? 

  • Adding color, creativity, and establishing a learning commons.
  • Creating a genre showcase.
  • Making fun and eye-catching signage.
  • Finding space for a makerspace IN the library.
  • Re-organizing books.
  • Research- I just can’t wait to bring research at Ryan to the next level! I’m excited about incorporating tech tools and authentic audiences, learning processes from authors, teaching databases and advanced Google searching techniques.
  • Social Media- Start a Ryan_library Twitter account and Instagram.

What will be different?

  • First off- I’m going to start a teacher/student panel that will assist me in the library makeover. While TAB helped a lot with Lamar that first year, I did a lot of work with my director the summer before school even began.  Now I want teacher input and student ideas to drive the redesign at Ryan High School.
  • Forming a Makerspace committee– I love Maker Education, but I can’t do it all by myself.  When I start at my new school, I’m going to find interested teachers and students to help guide EVERYTHING we do in the library makerspace from ordering to planning to incorporating into classroom curriculum. I’ve already ordered some awesome stuff to entice my teachers during professional development.
  • Starting the year Makerspace strong– I’ll be chatting a lot more about this at my #LTCmaker workshop for School Library Journal and upcoming article for Edutopia. In short, I’m hoping to train teachers through professional development before school starts and lead them through design challenges and then have teachers brainstorm ways to incorporate the maker resources into the classroom curriculum. (Plus get them excited about makerspace activities!)
  • Word Nerd Book Club– One of the best things about being a librarian is chatting with authors, meeting authors, and finding out more about books!  So I’m hoping to start a book club with teens where we interview authors about writing and books.  I want to interview authors on a monthly basis and broadcast on Youtube.

Thanks to my buddy at Keen Bee Studio, my new library already has a rocking new logo.


I couldn’t help but make this video on my last day @lamar_library!

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