Kris Gedeon: Create a Buzz About Books

think-long-term_-celebrate-short-termKris Gedeon set a long-term goal of changing how reading is viewed in her school and school community, creating a buzz about books and encouraging life-long readers. As a teacher steeped in research-based practices surrounding choice reading, she knew that students needed lots of access to books, but that–other than the books in her classroom–students didn’t have many opportunities to browse a wide selection. In order to achieve her long term goal, she knew she’d have to go through lots of intermediate steps and set her first goal of working working through a problematic shift in the role of her rural school’s library: essentially, the defunding the library.

The library funds were drastically cut–both in the book budget and the elimination of the professional librarian position. Kris made an ally with the long-time library aide who was now directing the library and set a short-term goal of working with her to reimagine the library as a vibrant space that would attract students to books. She enlisted students to help:  they catalogued the library, pulling out the most current and appealing books for teens and reorganized it to look more like a bookstore.

The second short-term goal involved building upon this buzz in order to gain new funds from the administration and school board to support the newly designed library. Kris’s next goal is to enlist the students to take these funds to select the books they might want to read.  These short-term goals have been hugely successful and are paving the way to some true change in the reading culture in her school.