Call me, maybe?

This is my last semester at the iSchool. I am working 30 hours a week for my GAship, student teaching 120 hours, full course load, updating my portfolio, meeting certification requirements and job hunting/interviewing. Who would have ever thought one semester could be so busy?

Earlier this week, I went on a job interview for K-5 library position. Though I am not fully certified, I have been on three rounds of interviews in the past three days. I’m still not sure if I have the job, but am confident I have made it through three rounds and part of a smaller pool of contenders.

Interviewing is a challenging process, especially for a library media specialist position. I had to provide paperwork and letters about my certification situation, change my schedule around for my GA job and classwork. It’s crazy how much has happened this week, and I honestly could not have done it without help from people at the iSchool.

Even if I do not get this job, I finally have my certification stuff in process. Now, it’s just a waiting game for paperwork at the State Ed Department. My resume and cover letter are in tip-top shape. I have great references, and am finishing my portfolio. I gained great interviewing experience, and have an idea of what questions may be asked in future interviews.

Usually, library media specialist positions do not pop up this time of year. I was not expecting to start my job hunt until the spring. When this chance came my, I jumped on it. Though this week was rough, I survived. A couple of days of pressure and stress will now make the next few months easier until I find my job.

What I Learned From the Florida A&M University Hazing Incident, and How Will This Impact My Future Library Space

Earlier this morning, I listened to a NPR snippet about Florida A&M University’s first home football game without its famous marching band. The band was suspended due to the death of a band member in the 2011 football-game season. Drum major Robert Champion was the victim of a band-hazing incident.

The University is taking a pro-active approach to deal with the aftermath of the event. Besides the suspension of the band, students are now required to sign an anti-hazing pledge. Enrollment is down at the university, compared to past years.

Some supporters and members of the community do not agree with the actions taken by the university. They are not in support of the fact the marching band was suspended; this band provided spirit and life not only to football games, but the community.

Though it is unfortunate the marching band is suspended, a flesh-and-blood person died. Actions need to be taken to provide awareness of the seriousness of the incident.

When I heard this news segment earlier on NPR, I started to wonder what sort of incidents like this might occur in a school where I am the librarian. Today, students are faced with a multitude of challenges: cyberbullying, harassment, hazing and peer pressure. The list goes on and on. Most students have been a victim, or know someone that has been a victim of bullying. Or maybe he or she is the bully.

The past few months, I have read some young-adult books that highlight these topics. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Letters From the Ledge by Lynda Meyers. So Far Away by Meg Mitchell Moore. These books made me feel I was not alone; the characters had similar emotions I had in middle and high school. It is so important to have books like these in the library. They are the silent comforters for students who go through similar experiences. They might encourage a student to speak out about abuse.

At my fieldwork placement, my librarian held a cyberbullying campaign. Smaller groups of students would come to the library, and sit in a circle. She addressed what cyberbullying is, who can be victims and how to get help. The small-group atmosphere was informal, and students had great conversations. This is one program I plan to implement someday.

I want to create a library environment where students can feel safe and comfortable. Where students can come to read, work on school assignments or spend time with friends. It’s important for students to have this sense of stability and security growing up. As a quieter student, the library at my school was a safe haven. I want to provide my future students the same opportunities I had going through middle and high school.