Thursday, April 26, 2007

April Springs Forward

I went to a lovely and inspiring conference of AISL in Philadelphia last week and was surrounded by intelligent, friendly, and charming librarians from all over the US and Canada (anyone from anywhere who's in an independent school is welcome). I came back recalling comments in reaction to different sessions ranging from "Wow! I found out I'm doing a pretty good job!" through "Hmmm ! I guess I can pick it up a bit next year" to "Zow, maybe I should retire!" Seriously, it was inspiring to be among these 110 or so school librarians, riding buses with time to chat, having meals, etc. Everyone should get out -- and nowadays you can do that by travelling to conferences, workshops, and fellowships, or by cybertravelling, or communicating online.
Some of the schools we visited were Quaker schools, serving diverse populations while continuing Quaker practices. In a meeting house on school grounds, children begin in prekindergarten to practice the keeping of silence; the high schoolers are observing forty minutes at a time. This has to become a very significant part of a teenager's life, gently coerced and so completely countercultural.

Detail of mural at Abingdon Friends School, PA

To this end I've joined the online school library community at, begun by the quietly blazing Joyce Valenza of Springfield Township High School in Pennsylvania.
I've also started a similar Ning community for independent school librarians, and it's rocking so far!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Welcome to the New Dunstan Too

The old St. Dunstan blogs have disappeared and sprung up with new names and new looks, in an effort to separate school from private life. In Dunstanology (borrowing from LibraryThing's "Thingology" blog) I will think about school libraries and where they're going. I hope this will be part of the national conversation in Libraryland.