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Jocelyn Martin

Final Reflective Paper

Now that I have finally completed both of my library internship experiences, the main
emotion I am feeling is relieved. I am done! I am done with internships. I am done with
classes. I can finally, after 5 years, worry about doing work for one school, the one where I
teach and get paid. It feels so good to be done!! While I am not ready to leave my Special
Education role at the wonderland that is Mayo Elementary, I feel that I am prepared to enter
the world of school library when I am mentally ready to do so.
Having worked in both high school and elementary school libraries for my internships, I
can say without a doubt I am an elementary school girl. I already suspected that of myself
before these experiences, but now I know. I feel so much more comfortable and at home in an
elementary school. There is a more nurturing aspect to the environment of an elementary
school, which I found lacking in the high school. In general, the staffs are smaller, which fosters
a greater sense of community. Based on my experiences, I feel there is higher expectation for
the librarian to be involved in lessons and the curriculum. While co-teaching may not be
possible due to scheduling, there is still a high expectation for collaboration from the majority
of the staff. Where in the high school, there is only a small portion of the staff that see the
library and the librarian as something more than a place to check out books and do research.
Having taught special education for 10 years, I have a wide variety of teaching
experiences in the classroom, small groups and one-on-one in all of the elementary grades.
This has given me an extensive background knowledge of the elementary curriculum and
classroom management skills. I have collaborated with many different teachers, which has also
exposed me to a range of teaching models. I consider these experiences to be a strength in my
ability to build a cohesive library program. However, I am still honing my skills and knowledge
of the Dewey Decimal system and the day-to-day maintenance of a library collection by being
more aware as I visit libraries and ask questions.
After my experiences from teaching and interning, I can say without a doubt that the
one thing that is essential to an effective school library program is a supportive administrator.
An administrator who understands the library’s ability to connect with the curriculum and the
entire school community will need little encouragement to promote the program with the staff,
parents and school board. They will also, hopefully, make a commitment to keep the library
program a priority.
In addition to a supportive administration, I expect an effective school library program
to have a strong foundation of current technology with a plan and funds for maintenance and
staying current. It is essential for students and staff to have access to current technology
complete with training in order to become effective users of information.
Furthermore, the librarian should have the flexibility to schedule the library program to
better meet the needs of the students and staff. This would include scheduling time to
collaborate with teachers. In an effective library program, the librarian would be able to have
flexibility in scheduling in order meet the needs of all of their users.
The University of Maryland School Library program has exposed me to a variety of
school libraries which has given me the knowledge and experiences to shape my vision and
expectations of an effective school library program. Being exposed to a diverse assortment of
school library facilities and programs over the course of this graduate program has helped to
me to understand and shape my vision of an effective school library program. As a result, I
have not changed my vision and expectations for an effective school library program from
before I started my internships, they have just become even clearer. I am more convinced now
that an effective school library program is an integral ingredient in the recipe to create the
school building’s atmosphere of nurture the learning of students and staff.