Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just a Room with Some Tables and Books, I Guess

On September 9th one the founders and directors at Lyons, sent out the school calendar, which I read right away and discovered there was a series of PTA meetings already lined up which included a "Literary Celebration" later in the year. I sent back a reply that included the following:

I want to come to more PTA mtgs this year. The series you have lined up sound fabulous. I'm curious about Literary Celebration night. What's planned for that? Maybe we could hold that one down in the library if that makes sense.

What I was trying to express was that I was going to come to multiple meetings, not just the literary celebration, but that the literary celebration was of particular interest. A series of e-mails went out about the library hosting (but not really otherwise brainstorming or contributing to) the literary celebration.

Fast forward to today, September 28th, when a PTA meeting is scheduled, and I get this e-mail from a Lyons teacher:

We wanted to show parents the library - would this be kosher?

Now, one could say that I should be happy that someone even thought of the library at all, but I guess I'm greedy. It's meet the teachers night, which means it's "come look at us!" night. And this is the thought the library gets.

I e-mailed back that I'd like to at least chat with the families who come through. This is the response I get:

Sure, although it may not be too many students, and its just part of a tour, so time would be limited...

It's not the teacher's fault. He's trying to be inclusive. The problem is: no matter how big a deal I try to make of the library, no matter how in-your-face I get or how much I hang back when I think I've gone too far, or how big a scene I try to make whenever I feel overlooked, it doesn't sink in. The library is an afterthought. It's a minor-league, kinda-nice-to-have, out-of-sight-out-of-mind afterthought.

For my part, I need to learn from this kind of thing instead of simply being hurt and harboring resentment, which is my natural inclination. Apparently, my marketing and imaging need to change, quickly. I already feel like I'm living, eating, breathing, sleeping and dreaming school 24 hours a day, so I'm not sure when I can fit up amped-up marketing into the picture, but I can't remain in this building as a librarian without getting my department better integrated in the rhythm and flow of the schools' work processes.

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