As we approach the December break, I am writing with an update on the NNHS Library Learning Commons. One of my responsibilities at NNHS is supervising and supporting the library and the librarians. This year I have also facilitated conversations with students regarding the LLC and have worked with students and staff to continually improve the atmosphere in the library while ensuring access to academic resources and support.
As you may recall, as a result of budget cuts our library (along with most of the libraries in the district) have reduced staffing this year. At the same time Newton North’s enrollment is increasing and students frequently experience a very active and full library. To address the challenge of having more students, and fewer librarians, we have implemented a number of strategies this year. The work that we have done with students to establish clear expectations and priorities in the library has been very positive and impactful. If you visit the library you will find that the large majority of students are actively doing academic work, are on task, and are collaborating appropriately with peers. The adults and the students in the space have been able to work together to improve the climate and culture of learning for everyone.
Starting next week we will be piloting another new strategy in the library: LibraryTrac (https://www.librarytrac.com/). LibraryTrac will allow us to collect crucial data about which students come to the library, when they come, and their academic purpose for coming to the library. The data we collect from LibraryTrac will help us advocate to restore our previous staffing level along with additional resources while also continuing to reflect on our practices. Increased staffing and resources ultimately support students’ access to the LLC and its resources. During the LibraryTrac pilot blocks, a library staff member will ask students entering the library to take a moment to “sign in.” Students will be able to do so by using one of three methods: swiping their ID card, using a QR code, or typing their ID number on an ipad. This should be a quick and painless process. We ask that students please be patient and respectful as we work through the bugs and try something new. Please understand that this data will ultimately be used to support students.