My practicum time and my first year as a library media specialist are coming to a close. I have learned so much this year and put into practice so much that I learned in my program at Western Kentucky.

I came into the position with little less than two weeks before school started and have felt like I’ve been playing catch up all year trying to get both libraries organized. I think I’ll be finished by the time school is out and will be able to use that time next year to work on bringing in more programs to both libraries. I heard several times from former assistants that “that’s not how we did it last year” but have felt confident with the changes I made, such as allowing students who forgot their book or even lost their book to get another one until they brought it back and not confining students only to the reading level that corresponded to their grade level. Just these two changes encourage kids to read more and help them feel better about coming to the library.

I felt confident this year approaching teachers with ideas to collaborate and watched as they used  aspects of the projects to create new lessons. I worked with 7th grade social studies classes, 8th grade Language Arts classes, and 9th grade Literature class this year. All of the students in those classes created a video product that they were proud of.

Looking to next year, some things I want to work on include having more programs in the elementary and middle school, drawing attention to Teen Read Week and other significant dates, doing a better job of changing the bulletin boards, cleaning out the closets and offices, and getting more middle and high school students to come into the library.

Right after I was accepted into graduate school, I found out that I was pregnant. I was 38 and had been married for 19 years. I have had many late nights finishing assignments and I feel proud that I have accomplished my goal of getting my master’s degree as a new mom, working a full time job and a part time job. I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to work as an LMS as I finished the last few classes and, after 19 years in the classroom, look forward to finishing out my teaching career as a library media specialist.

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