Alternative Spring Break
posted March 16, 2014 12:59 PM by Gemma Doyle
This week I took advantage of one of the many opportunities that are offered during spring break to try something new and spent an afternoon volunteering at the school library of the Boston Teachers Union School. I've spent a lot of time working with teens and adults in public libraries, but have not really spent a substantial amount of time in the children's rooms. I've also never worked in or even volunteered in a school library before, so I thought it would be a really interesting and fun experience -and that I was pretty much guaranteed to learn something.
Given my lack of experience, it was a good thing that our day consisted of labelling, barcoding and shelf reading; anything more advanced probably would have been a little nerve-wracking because I would have been too worried about screwing up something completely new to me.
Boston Teachers Union School is K-8, so we got to see kids of every age throughout the afternoon, and process materials for every age as well. We also got to see a little bit of how a library gets up and running: the school is only 4.5 years old, and is cooperatively run by teachers. The library has only been in place for a couple of years, and runs entirely on donations and the hard work of one part-time intern and one staff member who isn't a librarian. It's a set up that has an awful lot of possibilities for creative fundraising and collection building, and getting to be part of it, even for just an afternoon, was amazing.