During this pandemic year, we have grown to understand the value and importance of staying connected as an educator and librarian community. We have learned how to leverage technology to establish and maintain relationships with students and colleagues as we navigated the unknown waters of blended and distance learning. As this 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, we are looking forward to meeting virtually together as a librarian collective through Klein Independent School District’s Edcamp Library Promise to reflect on this last year, discuss and share new ideas for how we can continue to grow our library programs, and provide the best services to students and staff.
The Edcamp model of professional development is unique in that the participants drive the learning. There are no scheduled or pre-planned presentations. Everyone is treated the same and is considered an expert in their craft as an educator. Participants decide what topics they would like to discuss and record them on sticky notes—or in case of a virtual Edcamp, topics can be recorded in a shared Google Doc, Padlet, or Jamboard. The topics are then organized into a session board and breakout rooms are assigned. Participants are encouraged to sign up as discussion facilitators, drawing from their own experience and expertise to lead a session they are passionate about. With the “rule of two feet/clicks,” participants can find sessions that meet their needs. They are free to leave a session (without judgement) if they are not gaining anything from the conversation to join another session they find more relevant. This makes for a highly personalized day of learning!
The focus of Klein Independent School District’s Edcamp Library Promise is to invite educators interested in building strong school library programs to share ideas, lessons, tech tools, and best practices that promote vibrant school libraries for every learner. School librarians serve teachers, students, and families by providing access to information in a variety of formats. We are teachers, leaders, advocates, collaborators, curriculum experts, curators of resources, integrators of technology, and champions for equity and inclusivity. We provide safe spaces for students to inquire, create, explore, and grow. It is our hope that participants of Edcamp Library Promise will feel a sense of community, establish new relationships they can incorporate into their professional learning network, and come away with some new ideas and strategies they can use to build even better school library programs for the students and teachers they serve.