Inspired by this article on the librarian’s role in SEL, I wanted to share about a small collaboration between our counseling department and library. In the corner of our library’s fiction section lives our “Counselor’s Corner”; a collection of books hand selected and recommended by myself and my co-counselor.
- I love books. I want my students to love books.
- Our reading scores are not where we’d like them to be. If I can do a tiny, tiny thing that may help more students check out more books, which may in turn help their reading, I’m in.
- I believe in bibliotherapy.
- Social emotional learning and development should be occurring in many environments outside of my classroom lessons. By encouraging students to read books that have social/emotional lessons within them, I’m also promoting SEL development at home.
- Some of these books wouldn’t see a lot of action if it wasn’t for them being displayed differently and next to pictures of mine and my co-counselors’ faces.
When we first started it, it was part of a comprehensive “Counselor’s Corner Book Club”.
I’ve moved away from the book club component (may bring it back to life next year) so for now it’s just a great collection of counselor-selected books. And these books FLY off the shelves – our library assistant can’t keep it full. The students will come to us and say “I checked out one of your books today!” with such excitement, it’s really wonderful.
I am incredibly lucky to have such a supportive librarian and amazing library assistant. I gave them a list of books I knew we already had that had a strong social-emotional theme, but they also add others when they come across other books that they think would be a fit. Counselor’s Corner in the library is such a small thing we do, but it’s simple to set up, easy to maintain, and helps us to promote SEL in a different context.