Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Newest Library

Well, since the Chinatown Storefront Library project ended, I found myself with some free time on my hands--or at least, free energy. Fortunately, at the farewell party I met a teacher who works at the high school that was accepting a large batch of donations from our YA collection.

The Josiah Quincy Upper School is a new-ish charter high school in Boston, tucked into a corner of Back Bay and Chinatown. They're currently working on building a serious library, as part of their goal of International Baccalaureate accreditation. This all sounds very impressive--and it is--but Peter Chan is the teacher who's there in the weeds--moving furniture, making plans, running committees. I just go in once a week and enter books into the catalog. My small part!

Just today, though, I ran into a teacher from the McGlynn school, here in Medford. I used to volunteer there before the baby was born. When the new year started after Adam was a few months old, I found out that the librarian and the aide who had worked there when I did had both left. I never ended up going back. It turns out, though, that their positions have not been filled; the school doesn't have a librarian, just a few teachers managing to keep the doors open for classes to come get books as necessary.

Part of me thinks, "They need me!" Another part thinks, "This is what they get for not funding the library." And a third part is saying, "Um, how many volunteer gigs can you do at once?"

I don't know. I'm feeling kind of introverted lately--note the rare blog postings. But then again, I always have a hard time passing up opportunities to do things. So--what would you do?


JMLC said...

Go for it- if it doesn't work out, it will be obvious to all & you can gracefully exit the scene.

Amy said...

Our librarian position got cut last year due to cuts (all middle school librarian positions in my district). We have volunteers who can sit there and put books back on the shelves, monitor kids on a limited basis, but they can't check out books for kids or order things (well, not supposed to, but I'm sure it happens). In our district, volunteers aren't supposed to do what teachers are supposed to do (unless they're under the direction of a teacher...for example, you wouldn't volunteer to run the chem class in and all that in a high school).

Just from a teacher's point of view--check your responsibilities before you say yes. :) You don't want to be volunteering more than you should. ;)

That being said, if the responsibilities are laid out clear and you DO do this, have fun and enjoy!! Might help you decide if you want to continue that path to becoming a librarian (are you still pursuing it?)

Brenda Pike said...

I'd do it. (And then probably curse myself later for overextending.) But it's closer to home and probably a lot more relevant to your goals, right? Do it.