From a young age, I've always loved to read, but a more guilty pleasure of mine was to play pretend and act out scenes from the latest bedtime stories. For those of you who know me well (or will be soon by keeping up with blog posts), Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie is my favorite book. Growing up, I remember hiding in my tree house as if that was the Lost Boys lair, laying facedown on my swing set pretending to fly, or running from the "crocodile"--a part so lovingly dictated to the family's dog. This story, spoilers aside, is all about achieving your dreams, seizing reality, and ultimately living the biggest adventure.
For me, I have many adventures that I want to cross off my list: educate others, travel, conquer impossible tasks, and be silly. After all, being smart, active, confident and always having a smile were all traits that my mother taught me when it came to being a lady ;) But how could I achieve all of those things in the little lifetime that we are given here in this world...especially when the logistics of actually making a living in this society?
As a high school librarian (Media Specialist is the official title, if you want to get technical),I encounter students on a daily basis that have the same appetite for adventure that I do, but often these students feel isolated with their cravings, because they believe that no one else is like them in their search for further knowledge, adventure and exploration. How could I help this group of people (albeit young adults, teens are still considered people), especially when they are in the final stages of education before they venture into the adventure of adulthood?
While working on my Masters of Library Science at IUPUI, I found that many groups of students in the United States are encouraged to read in the public school systems because it leads to increased test scores and overall achievement. In the American culture, and as a former student, now current educator, reading seems to have become a requirement for today's students. In contrast, the United States is often compared to other countries in achievement, and reading is a skill that is more often than not, included in the comparison. In classwork, graduate students discuss how users access their library, and how materials could be or are of value to their patrons... and every colleague I've ever encountered has always been examining this situation from the American Library Science perspective. With this being said, what are other countries doing in regards to reading, and how is school achievement correlating to the use of the library?
Now to conquer the impossible task.... How can American school libraries learn from other libraries in different countries? <--- That question right there makes me feel nervous and ballsy at the same time...But, I've been told that I often "Tara-ize" things by doing them my own way, so let's manipulate this situation as well.
I have plenty of access to American libraries. In fact, I possess 4 different library cards, as well as know double digits of librarians that would help me out at a moment's notice (Facebook--duh). But what would make this experiment into a true adventure would be to throw in a contrast element... let's say.... a different country, in which I could tour library facilities, observe librarians, and document interactions that occur within the libraries. From there, I could use the information I have gathered and researched into developing a larger picture into how libraries work.
I will be visiting Reykjavik, Iceland the week of March 21-27, 2015 to investigate how international libraries work. WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOO