I haven’t blogged since my first entry a month or so ago. Work (finishing a yearbook on top of four additional preps is like a marathon), grad school, and grad school group projects seemed to occupy all of my time, but I’m back now.
During an online chat with my classmates and professor, we discussed getting kids into the library to read and how we can do that. I thought of something similar to the Got Milk? campaign in the 90s and early 2000s but with prominent students. My professor brought up several good points about how there are some pitfalls tied to that approach. One being those kids are already popular (QB, cheerleader, valedictorian, etc.), so why showcase them yet again. It could also lead to bullying because kids can be mean. I was a little disheartened because I thought it was a great idea, and those negatives are real possibilities. However, I’m not giving up on the idea, and she offered some realistic alternatives to avoid those problems.
My professor said that any students who would like to volunteer for a similar campaign are more than welcome to do so, and that gives students who may not receive a lot of exposure their chance to shine and share their favorite book with a larger audience. The Got Books? campaign can also be done with faculty members since we shouldn’t be bullied, and it’s important to model that behavior for our students.
Something my school’s library is doing is the Libraries are for everyone campaign. They created simple graphics with people of all genders and colors reading a book. It’s simple, elegant, and it gets the point across. They’re also created several in Spanish and, possibly, French and German (the other two foreign languages offered on our campus). I think something like that is just as effective as my idea, but it feels more inclusive to me, which is good. Since they’re graphic art, you don’t have to rely on photographing students, so you’re including the diversity in the artwork. What if the only students who came forward were of the same gender and skin color? Then it looks like the library is exclusive rather than welcoming, and that’s the opposite of how I want students to feel about their school’s library.
Great ideas seldom hatch fully-developed and ready to be implemented on the first thought; they take extensive revising, editing and growing before they’re ready to be presented to more people, and I have to remember that and stay positive when I neglect to think about possible negative outcomes or pitfalls.