Advocacy, Innovation


Starting from Scratch. One of the most exciting things I have learned this semester is the viability of starting a new library from scratch at my adult school.  With a little bit of encouragement from my supervising fieldwork TL, Mr. Completo, and the exploration I did through the Vision Project, it doesn’t seem like such a farfetched notion.  In fact, it is encouraging to note that schools all over the country have had to do this at some point in their history, what was their process?  Who did they have to convince?  Who gave the final say and where did most of their start-up funding come from? What kept them going in the face of challenges and setbacks?  Whose idea was it in the first place and which came first, the library or the librarian?  I imagine that getting support from my school district’s library services department would give leverage to my proposal to my administrators.  Or should I approach the central office administrators to start this library program as a pilot?  Should I be open to pursuing this at another larger adult school that can accommodate the space needed and perhaps has the budget for it?  How can I promote this library as an important program to implement while also promoting myself as the best fit for staffing it?  I am flooded with questions and concerns probably because this is uncharted territory and for the sake of my students, I want to succeed.      Jess deCoursy Hinds who rebuilt the library at Bard HIgh School Early College Queens says persevere and believe in what you’re doing for your students.  Embrace that what you’re trying to do, building something from nothing, is important work and requires a team effort.  She interviews several other self-starters who designed and constructed their programs from the ground up – these women are inspiring and secured grant funds and support from city officials to make their ideas come to life.  “Assembling a balanced library can be a puzzle, a great challenge, and a leap of faith.”  There will be many challenges, but honestly, it sounds invigorating.  I can’t wait to get started.


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