One of the things I love about the library profession is how collaborative we are and willing to share ideas and resources. I love visiting other libraries and meeting with other librarians to learn about all the great things they are doing in their libraries. Last summer I arranged for my workshop participants at the Taft School Educational Center to have a tour of their library and we were in awe and amazed both at the facility and how well the library is integrated into the curriculum.
One of the things I took away and definitely wanted to try to incorporate was at Taft every senior is required to individually meet with a librarian to discuss their senior project and research strategy. My school doesn’t have a final research project, and as the only librarian on staff it would be impossible for me to meet with every senior, but our Honors Diploma Program does require a capstone project. I proposed the idea to the Curriculum Coordinator and the Honors Diploma Coordinator and they loved it!! Yay!! I created this worksheet for students to complete before meeting with me (feel free to download and modify for your use) and I have just started meeting with students. In previous years it was rare that a student working on their capstone project would approach me for help. My main goal is to recommend resources they might not think of and also highlight me, the librarian, as a resource, and that I am always available to help them.
In doing this I hope that when students go on to college/university they might not be intimidated to ask the reference librarians for help in locating resources. A university library can be extremely overwhelming after using our tiny high school library and I love that some universities have started programs that assign each undergraduate student with a personal librarian (Libraries Make it Personal). This is a great way to reach out to students and make them feel welcome in the library.