A brand-new group of student teachers from SFU and UBC have been visiting Walnut Grove Secondary these past few weeks, prior to the start of their final teaching practicums. Their university advisors suggested they visit our Library Learning Commons and introduce themselves to the school’s teacher librarian. It brightened my day to welcome these individuals and showcase our WGSS library.
As they explored the library, there were plenty of positive comments. The student teachers loved the physical layout, the various learning spaces – from quiet areas for individuals to study, larger group areas, and quiet nooks with comfortable pillows or oversized chairs for those who wish to escape into a book. They noticed the stools and counters with charging ports, the mounted projector, photocopier/scanner, printer and supplies for student to use during their study blocks. The student teachers were surprised by our huge collection of graphic novels in Cody’s Corner and our fabulous up-to-date fiction collection – both in English and French. They were impressed that we also host a digital presence through our library website. More than one concluded that this was the most incredible secondary school library they had ever seen! Woo Hoo!
The whole experience took me back fifteen years to my dream of creating a library space that served as the learning hub of the school. This morning our library was stuffed with students who were completing assignments, working on the computers, printing off homework and projects, visiting with friends, studying together, signing out new books, or curling up on the comfy furniture to read their latest check-out. There was a fabulous hum of activity – and it made me so proud to see the welcoming space that has been created through the efforts of our entire school community.
So hats off to our wonderful Library Advisory Council who are always ready to offer their opinions and chart great new directions for our school’s library. We also very much appreciate the support of our WGSS PAC and Administration, the generous donations from individuals such as Cody Sawatsky’s family, the ideas and contributions of our staff and students, the creative embellishments from our Computer Department, and the hard work and creative genius of our library student teaching assistants. And, I am personally so very grateful for the talents of our current library technician Mrs. Harpur and the other technicians who have worked with me through the years to make these changes a reality. We did it! Together we have created an amazing learning space – of which we all deserve to be very proud.