Unphased by the fact that Representative Bernie O’Neill was unable to visit our library as was scheduled yesterday, our high school students went on with the show and dazzled administrators, Board members and ME with the amazing ways they use technology and digital resources. O’Neill was invited as part of the Legislator @ Your Library Campaign to bring awareness to the importance of school libraries and to advocate for more financial support and state requirements for school libraries and staffing. Due to a last minute emergency however, he cancelled just moments before his scheduled visit. But that didn’t stop Mr. Giorgi’s Journalism students from putting on a fantastic presentation beginning with a video they created about the library and then giving participants an opportunity to visit with the students to see how they are utilizing Google apps in their classes as well as the online tools available on the library website. Some students were also on hand to show-off our beautifully renovated courtyard as well our use of QR codes with book displays.
Followed by the session with Journalism students, our administrators and Board members had an opportunity to see our START mentors work with their adult students. START – Students Teaching Adults Resources and Technology is a collaborative project with the public library which allows older adults to learn basic computer skills. This was the second session in which the adults were learning how to set-up a Gmail account and learn the basics of email. The adults are so excited to be learning from these young people, but it goes much beyond the teaching of technology. It’s an opportunity for young and old to form a special relationship and to learn about each other. One of the adults emailed her mentor a picture of her new granddaughter, while another emailed a picture of himself in his younger years as an actor in New Hope.
At the end of yesterday’s session, one of the adults approached me, earnestly grabbing my arm and said “This means the world to me…you have no idea”. And just as I was composing this post, one of the high school students came to me to tell me that she’d like to set-up some additional sessions with her adult student because he needs some extra help and that she was only too happy to oblige. Nothing could convince me more that this is the start of a beautiful thing!