Happy 2017 After a Much Needed Break

Tomorrow, I go back to school after our winter break. I spent my break visiting with friends and family, resting and exercising, and reading some awesome young adult literature. What I didn't do is think much about school and the library. Just like this past summer, I needed some time to regroup. I tend to feel guilty when I don't have something new and different for the library right up my sleeves. It can really get exhausting constantly reinventing what I do. I needed to turn off professionally for awhile. 

Here are some of the books that I read over break:

I give this one 5 stars! Loved it.

King is amazing, and this story is not like any other. 

Good characters, and who doesn't like a story with NYC as one of the characters

December is always a busy month. One important thing that I had on my agenda was a visit with the Louisiana Superintendent of Education, John White. I went with six other members of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians to talk with him about ESSA and school libraries. ESSA is the federal program called Every Student Succeed Act that takes the place of No Child Left Behind. This is the first time since before NCLB that librarians and libraries are mentioned in the federal plan. The draft of Louisiana's ESSA plan did not mention the library. We went to speak with John White to make sure that libraries are included at the state level so that individual districts will know that federal funds can be spent in the library. He was extremely receptive, and we have high hopes. Our next contact with him is a conference call later this month. 

Around the middle of December there was news traveling the Internet about Denzel Washington visiting his former librarian to wish her a happy birthday. It always helps to have stories like these to broadcast the power of libraries in all of our lives. I enjoyed reading about it, but it was the comment made on Facebook by one of my former students that was a true surprise. She attended PFTSTA when I first became librarian there, and she is now a teacher herself. The following is our conversation on FB. Wow! I was surprised by her superlatives, but I certainly loved hearing them. 

Then it came time for presents right before break. The candy, homemade treats, and mugs are nice, but it is the cards written from the heart that I love the best. I got two cards this year that really meant something to me. One was from a teacher, and though she did not write much, her words were powerful. She is the head of the English department, and we work very closely together to provide the best for our students. The other note was from an 8th grade student. 

Isn't nice to have a teacher say this!

Read transcript of student's note below

Transcript of student's note, and I don't think that any commentary is necessary. Her words say it all:
Dear Ms. Kahn
You are the best librarian I have ever had. Honestly, you are what makes school bearable. 

Thank you for being amazing. Thank you for book club every week and thank you for letting me spend every lunch in the library becauase the cafeteria is terrifying. 

Because of you and (the) library, I have met three of my best friends and read a lot more than I would have on my own. 

Thank you for letting me read your ARCs (Advanced Reader's Copy) and for all of the awesome book suggestions. 

Please enjoy the toffee. (her mom is an amazing cook and baker)

Also, have an amazing Christmas break. 

😊 To all of you, I wish a prosperous, healthy, and happy new year in both your professional and personal lives!


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