by Meg Omainsky, Teacher Librarian, Henry M. Gunn High School
I’ll admit, I never would have entered this contest if I was not encouraged to do so by a colleague and parent within my school district. I’ve never been one to seek out awards, and prefer to be a behind the scenes, “idea person” rather than in the spotlight. After some persuasion, though, I decided to go for it.
“How do you cultivate an environment of creativity and collaboration within your library or school environment?” As soon as I heard this challenge, I knew the Follett Challenge was the contest for Gunn Library.
Schools continue to face budget shortfalls, and our district is no different. With the onset of the new Common Core curriculum, our site is racing to revamp our resources to make this new alignment. The Follett Challenge winnings are being split between school libraries within our district so we can meet these new challenges head on. Soon, each site will have new audio titles of core novels to assist lower level and struggling readers. Students prepping for AP and Sat exams, will be able to access test prep materials through the digital Follett Shelf. Our collection will become rich with primary sources giving students a first hand look into the history they are studying. Additionally, for the first time since our library opened, we will have access to materials in languages other than English and Spanish.
None of this would have been possible without Follett making this opportunity available and without the urging of my wise colleagues and supporters.
I encourage other librarians to take the leap and show off your accomplishments. You just might win the grand prize.