I never pictured myself as a cheerleader…

6 Oct

But here I am. I may as well have pompoms and a megaphone because I am the official head cheerleader for the reference section of the library. During the grade 8 orientation, there was an air of “Give me a R, give me an E, give me an F…” and so on and so forth.

While perusing the collection during the periods where class groups are not scheduled, I have been amazed by the quality of the reference materials. Unfortunately, I feel as if there is a stigma in the reference section. They are like the celebrities of the library: expensive, showy, and something that is outside the realm of daily life. They can only be accessed at certain times and usually with the assistance of the librarian as if it was a chaperoned meeting, only borrowed for an overnight rendezvous and costing 10 times more in overdue charges. They may as well be jewel-encrusted and placed in glass boxes.

However, in my new role as head reference cheerleader, I have been trying to break that stigma. With the grade 8 orientation and every class who has come into the library, I have constantly been referring them to books in the reference section (and to our online reference resources – but that is a topic for another time).

My personal favourite is the Encyclopedia series of World War 2. It has so many images and primary source documents that its richness is like an information bubblebath that you want to be completely immersed in and can easily lose all sense of time. Now I just have to get the students to relish it along with me….

Goal #368: Get the students to use the reference resources on a consistent basis.

Goal #369: Have students cheer along with the head reference cheerleader.

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