27 Sep

What stuck me most about the booktalks was that I’ve never seen one done in the way that was described in the chapter (and that’s in both my life as a student and my life as a teacher). I’ve seen school librarians do booktalks, I’ve seen other teachers do booktalks, I’ve even done booktalks (ok, here we’ll say “tried” to do a “booktalk”) but seriously, I’ve never seen a public library librarian come into the school or a classroom to talk up books. And I’m wondering why that is…

I’m curious then about the relationship between schools and libraries—is there awkwardness between school librarians and public library librarians? Like not wanting to step on someone else’s toes? Or is this simply because I live in a pretty rural community where (I don’t think) there is anyone who is technically a youth services librarian? But I know there are children’s librarians and I’ve not seen them in the schools to do book talks either—though I do seem to remember someone coming in to talk up a summer reading programme…

I would think—and this is for both for kids and teens—that a relationship between schools and public libraries (and subsequently, librarians) is particularly vital today as so many schools don’t have librarians, or only have them for part of the day or week. Often, teachers are the ones taking students to the library—IF they have time to take their kids to the library, IF there is a library (think Windsor Catholic Board)—and don’t have the time suss out what’s new in the school collection (IF there’s any $$ for anything new…sigh)

Also, I guess it also depends on the public library librarians: if you don’t have an interest in kids and/or teens and the stuff they read, I think it would be a tough sell to get someone into say, a grade 8 classroom to chat about books.  Grade 8s can be a tough crowd (but then, if you don’t like grade 2 kids petting your legs while you read to them, that might be a turn-off too)…

Anyway, just makes me think that a partnership between schools and public libraries should be a no-brainer: getting kids turned onto books is a great thing and the more adults who are involved and vested, the better.

1 Comment

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Uncategorized...


One response to “Booktalking…

  1. Morgan Nash-Brault

    September 30, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Great post, Kelly!! I, too, have wondered about the lack of partnership between public and school libraries. I don’t quite know the answer but after I did a paper on joint-use libraries for the Public Library course, I might offer at least one possibility. Joint-use libraries are not exclusively but often libraries housed in or beside a public school with a joint public/school library function. One of the big arguments against these libraries coming from the public library perspective was the fear that the public library, with its lack of staff and funding, would be expected to fulfill the role of the school librarian as well as the public librarian, which would in a sense be one less expenditure for a school board. For example, would public libraries now have to start carrying books which responded to curriculum needs, seen as school library domain? I wonder if there is this feeling in a booktalking context as “This should be done by a school librarian. It’s not my fault there is next to no funding for school libraries.” Hmm…I wonder…


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