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Wisconsin School Libraries Face Pandemic Challenges with Resilience

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

April is National School Library Month, and Wisconsin school library media specialists continue to provide the leadership and expertise necessary to ensure school libraries are an integral part of instructional programming.

Danielle Brannan, Mukwonago High School Library Technology Specialist admits it has been a challenging year keeping everyone safe and following health guidelines, but relishes in the positive things they have been able to do while holding in-person learning. Even with this year being her first in the district, she found successes ranging from building meaningful relationships with staff, team teaching, curating and creating resources, creating tutorials, and providing daily assistance. “I am a part of this school community,” Brannan said. “Many staff and students know that the librarian is here to help them. That's a great feeling of accomplishment!"

Brannan was able to support students and staff in many ways, including a rollout of eBooks through the Wisconsin Schools Digital Library Consortium, and Sora, a digital listening and reading app through students’ Chromebooks or mobile devices. The district provided time and compensation for Brannan to train staff on Google Classroom and Google Meet at the start of the year.

With the help of her library aide, she also completed a diversity audit of the library collection, which informed acquisition decisions this year. “I'm able to view our audit results and see where our collection is successful at providing diverse stories and where we can improve. This was a big undertaking, but one I felt passionately about, and I'm proud to have completed it,” Brannan said.

Wisconsin School Librarians have dedicated themselves to work for quality school libraries for all students. Be sure to thank a school librarian for their commitment to students, staff, and communities.