Summer seems to get shorter and shorter every year! Back in late-June, I blinked, and now here we are in August. Back to School Night approaches!
When I first started teaching in 2001, my school district–like most Texas districts in 2001–started school as early in August as humanly possible. That year, our students’ first day of school was August 2, which means as a new teacher, I started new teacher training week in mid-July. I have several teacher-cousins in Kentucky, and the students actually started school there on August 1 this year. So early!
If your school year has already begun, you are undoubtedly in the midst of a whirlwind right now. And I’m betting Back to School Night is looming for you in just a few short weeks. If you aren’t quite there yet, don’t worry, Back to School Night is coming for you, too.
To help you manage the chaos, I’m sharing three freebies that will save you time while you plan your Back to School Night. If you love them, please take a minute to share them with other librarians, particularly the new librarians in your life.
FREEBIE #1: BACK TO SCHOOL NIGHT POWERPOINT
Edit this 8-slide presentation with your library’s information. I’ve added graphics and suggested information for each slide, but you can and should change it up to make it yours. Be sure to include information parents want to know when they come in. This should include library hours, checkout for parents, a little something about you, and a little something about the library. Keep your slides simple and easy to read. If your school serves a large community of non-English speakers, it’s a good idea to also add translation.
BACK TO SCHOOL FREEBIE #2: MANUAL CHECKOUT FORMS
In all my years of Back to School Nights, I always planned to NOT check out any books. Back to School Night is super-busy, and I don’t want to be stuck behind the circulation desk all night.
But every single year, I end up checking out books anyway. Maybe I should stick to my word a little better, but I just cannot deny a student or parent the opportunity to get books.
If your circulation is not yet set up for check out, or you decide to check out the random student or two, it may help to have some of these manual checkout forms ready. If you do change your mind and allow this person or that person to check out books, you won’t want to wait five minutes for your computer to boot up. And you definitely don’t want to deal with a wifi failure when you have a line of parents waiting to check out books. Be prepared, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
BACK TO SCHOOL FREEBIE #3: LIBRARY RESOURCES BROCHURE
This one is my favorite! Edit this tri-fold brochure to advertise your library’s databases and give it out on Back to School Night! I’ve included descriptions of some of the most common library databases, but you can add as many as you need. This is a great way to promote your library with parents, teachers, and students all year long. Print plenty of them and put them in a prominent location, such as on or near your circulation desk.