To Infinity and Beyond was not the first title I thought of when contemplating what to name this blog post. As someone who manages to always find a quote, song or movie title for most occasions, I had three possible titles swirling around in my head that reflect my journey so far this year.
The first heading I contemplated was Back to the Future (awesome Michael J. Fox). At the beginning of this year I began a new job back in Taranaki returning to a school library and its librarianship, something I had not done for the previous 4 ½ years. So you see I was coming back to my library roots, but with a whole new focus on the future.
It was a couple of weeks into my new position when a discussion with our Deputy Principal of Learning introduced me to what we affectionately refer to as the ‘Ken Project’. I was both terrified and excited at the same time: terrified because I felt a year behind as the project was entering its second year in the school, yet excited because I could see the potential of this project to empower students to become information literate citizens.
This brings me to my second title: The Times They Are A Changin’ (thanks Bob Dylan). The project has initiated a number of teacher/librarian collaborations in schools beyond those immediately involved. What I think is different this time, compared to my earlier years as a librarian, is that these ones are not all initiated by the librarian. What a powerful asset for students’ learning this makes when the subject teacher decides to combine their knowledge and skills with those of the librarian for the benefit of their students’ information literacy skills and subject content learning.
Of course, I could see the immense potential for these collaborations but I was also acutely aware that I was a totally new face for staff. I felt it was quite important to let my relationship with teachers develop first before diving headlong into a collaboration together. This tells us that a collaboration doesn’t just happen; they are based on a sound, respectful and trusting relationship with a focus on improving student learning.
I’ve settled on a title this blog, To Infinity and Beyond, (Buzz you rock), which I think aptly encompasses what we are trying to achieve in this project. It’s the power of working together to provide our students with the best opportunities to become information literate citizens, who must face a future where it feels like the amount of information is going beyond the infinite.
Librarian, Waitara High School, Taranaki