We say it often, “If you have a workshop, a new books preview for teachers and administrators, any event in the library, make sure you have food.” Well, my library office is a “coffeeklatch” of teachers and staff every day with coffee freshly ground, both decaf and “real” for $.25 a cup. My teaching assistant often brings cookies or other treats left over from her weekend catering jobs while a severely autistic student and his aide walk to a nearby convenience store for more as part of his job experience. People often drop in more than the required 25 cents in appreciation for the treats.
You all can guess that there is a high correlation between the teachers who actively use the library for project-based learning and those who drink the library coffee…it’s a given that the coffee is served with conversation, curriculum design and advice, both ways. And what’s said in the office, stays in the office. It’s a bit of work but you get into a routine–the camaraderie and collaboration is well worth it. It’s not unique, there are many variations of this around the country, but it is worth considering if you don’t already do something like this for your faculty and staff. The head of maintenance just finished fixing a door handle he noticed while coming in for a cookie and coffee. YES!
Submitted by Sara Kelly Johns, Lake Placid Middle/High School Librarian, New York