Not Just Tech Support: Librarian Spotlights Social-Emotional Needs Among Remote Learning Resources

There is an understandable focus on tech and social services as schools move to remote learning, but at least one school librarian is sharing resources for the vital social-emotional needs during this crisis.

As Carolyn Foote watched the educators try to quickly prepare for remote teaching due to the coronavirus pandemic, the lead librarian at Eanes Independent School District in Travis County, TX, and Westlake High School in Austin, TX, was concerned.

“I just see more worrying about the tech tools and meals—so important—but not as much on how to help our mental health, both students and teachers,” she said. “I wish we’d had time before being dismissed to address that with students more formally.”

The social-emotional aspects of this national crisis were not getting enough attention, Foote maintained. Remote schooling wasn’t just about refining the logistics of making it work but also recognizing the stress of the uncertainty and isolation, and the ways educators could stay connected to students and colleagues.

“It’s harder for librarians, because we don’t have our own ‘class’ too,” she said.

READ: Free Tools for Online Teaching and Learning During School Closures

When Foote met with campus staff to create remote learning best practices, she included items that help with social-emotional aspects: Stay connected with colleagues, be visible to students, help students be visible to each other.

Foote also curated a Wakelet collection of resources about talking to kids about COVID-19 and self-care tips for students and teachers and shared it with her school’s staff. And she created the hashtags #covid19lib and #remotelearnlib for librarians to share what they are doing with colleagues.

She, of course, is not the only school librarian working seemingly 24/7 right now trying to support each other and district staff. Facebook groups of librarians and educators were full of posts and comments, sharing ideas, obstacles, and frustrations. In fact, the overwhelming number of resources became a challenge, as librarians didn’t want to overwhelm teachers with email after email. Some were even asked by their administrators to stop.

Seeking options, librarians created Google docs, Flipgrids, and Wakelet collections to share with staff and each other. Kristina Holzweiss, SLJ’s 2015 School Librarian of the Year, started a Wakelet for librarians to share remote learning resources in four categories: promoting reading, information literacy, digital citizenship, and research.

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Kara Yorio

Kara Yorio (kyorio@mediasourceinc.com, @karayorio) is news editor at School Library Journal.

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The link has been fixed. Thank you!

Jennifer Bishop

The link to the final Wakelet by Kristina Holzweiss doesn't work and I can't find it on her Wakelet profile. Interested in finding that if possible. Thanks!

Posted : Mar 20, 2020 05:19

The link has been fixed. Thank you!

Jennifer Bishop

The link to the final Wakelet by Kristina Holzweiss doesn't work and I can't find it on her Wakelet profile. Interested in finding that if possible. Thanks!

Posted : Mar 20, 2020 05:19

The link has been fixed. Thank you!


Jennifer Bishop

The link to the final Wakelet by Kristina Holzweiss doesn't work and I can't find it on her Wakelet profile. Interested in finding that if possible. Thanks!

Posted : Mar 20, 2020 05:19


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