Collaboration – Building Community

The Westland High School library is a safe space where every student is welcome. I have worked hard to build relationships with every student who visits the library to make them feel welcome and wanted.

My primary focus has been on building community within the library with the students and staff, and also outside of the library building wide.

Daily, we have a community puzzle that students work together to complete, a large community coloring page, mini-coloring pages, and games and cards available. At the beginning of the year, I frame and hang the first puzzle students put together as a reminder of how they all come together. Upon entering the library, there are signs that say “Libraries Are for Everyone” in the 48 different languages represented at Westland. Building-wide, we have a staff and student gratitude wall to remind us all what we are thankful for.

Weekly, we have a brain teaser or fun trivia fact. I also offer (on a sign up basis) trips to other places via Google Expeditions and virtual reality to students. For staff, we have a Guess Who contest in which staff has to guess which staff member is being represented by various clues. Winners of Guess Who get a candy bar and at the end of the year, the person with the most correct guesses wins a gift card.

Monthly, we focus on a theme that usually has to do with holidays, seasons, celebrations, etc. and we have mini-coloring pages based on that for students to color and then display in the library. We host monthly STEM challenges for students to work together and compete. We also have interactive displays based on a theme.

Each March, the library hosts a bracket style UNO Tournament. It’s been amazing to see students who normally would not play UNO together, sit and play and get to know one another.