108: The State of Libraries w/ Dustin Hensley


25 min read

Podcast available here.

0:00:16.2 Chris McNutt: Hello and welcome to episode 108 of our podcast at Human Restoration Project. My name is Chris McNutt. I'm a high school Digital Media Instructor from Ohio. Before we get started, I wanted to let you know that this is brought to you by our supporters, three of whom are Kathy Sennello, Kimberly Baker and Bradley Hinson. Thank you for your ongoing support. You can learn more about the Human Restoration Project on our website, humanrestorationproject.org, or find us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

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0:00:57.3 CM: Today, we are joined by Dustin Hensley. Dustin is the library media specialist at Elizabethton High School in Tennessee. He is an advocate for creating spaces that cultivate students love of learning, he was one of the co-founders of the Bartleby program, which centers community involvement and entrepreneurship for students, and is one of the winners of the XQ Super Schools competition, remaining active in the XQ Community of Practice. He currently teaches courses on community improvement in academic research.

0:01:23.8 CM: In this podcast, Dustin and I talk about the state of libraries today, the purpose of a library, how libraries interact with students, political forces attacking books and librarianship, transitions from libraries to makerspaces and fab labs, and how libraries provide a pedagogy that transforms learning.

0:01:43.2 Dustin Hensley: I was in college to be a history teacher, and I was loving my history classes, and I started into my education classes. I started noticing how much being a classroom teacher went against my philosophy of learning. I was doing my residency, and would see the teacher would get up and lecture and such, and I was thinking about the students and what if they didn't wanna learn about that today, what if they wanted to learn about something else, and that doesn't matter that if a kid came in, like "I wanna learn about dinosaurs today," then too bad, we're learning about this instead. So the students had no autonomy or agency whatsoever in their own learning journey, and I couldn't consciously become a classroom teacher for that reason, but I wanted to work with teenagers and I wanted to work in a learning environment.

0:02:31.4 DH: So I was trying to find out what can I do that I can still do all these things that I want to do, but I'm not forced to make kids learn something they might not wanna learn, and I thought back to my high school librarian who was an amazing human being and helped foster my learning in a lot of ways, and I thought I just wanna do what she does. So I reached out to her and she said, "This is what you have to do to become a school librarian," so I in my senior year, dropped Education as a minor, and just graduated with a degree in history and went straight into the Master's in School Librarianship program. Most school librarians take the journey of they're a classroom teacher for several, several years, and then they later on will go become a school librarian when they maybe get tired of the classroom, they want something different, but I went straight into the school library. That's all I wanted to do.

0:03:22.9 DH: The reason I became a school librarian is what guides my pedagogy in that I want to cultivate self-interest in students all the time. I never wanna force learning on anyone. If whenever they come in to the library, if they say, "this is what I wanna learn about today," then we'll learn about together, and it's great that I never have to be the authority on anything. That I'm the authority on finding information, on how to verify information, but I never have to be that person, "okay, I'm going to teach you now." It's, "okay, I don't know anything about this either, let's learn about it together." Just a few days ago, there was a student that wanted to know what the inside of a kangaroo pouch was like, we learned about the inside of kangaroo pouches, and it's great that every day is gonna be different.

0:04:02.6 DH: I'm sure a lot of people's view of the school library is that you're an elderly lady with the glasses on your nose and your hair in a bun, and you shush people. The school library job is not monotonous that way, it doesn't have to be monotonous that way, it can be a new journey every day that you're learning something just completely off the wall that you did not expect to be coming because the students really guide what happens in the library. So it's the most equitable space in a school because it's made for everyone, that it's not just for the high achievers, it's not just for a certain sub-section of the population, and that's true of libraries everywhere. Either it's public libraries, academic libraries. That they are made specifically to help every single person in the community.

0:04:47.8 DH: Yeah, my whole goal is that I'm gonna learn with these students and let them guide the journey, that I'm there to help get them the right kind of sources, to be a conduit to the correct information, but also teach them the skills on how to correctly assess information so that we're getting accurate information.

0:05:08.2 CM: There's two things that you're saying that really resonate with me, the first was kind of a personal note, I kinda went the opposite route. When I first went to school, I actually wanted to be a librarian, and I got a degree in History and shifted into Education. It's a cognitive dissonance that I constantly face as someone who is a classroom teacher of, Can change occur from the inside versus can change occur from the outside because there's always that constant resonance of, we have to get through the standards, and it can feel really gross to force kids to do those things, but at the exact same time, there's the question of, well, if no one ever attempted to make those changes from the inside, would change ever occur? I totally get what you're saying, but it's just interesting that we both have relatively similar origins in terms of understanding that.

0:05:57.0 CM: But when it comes to the library, I was thinking back to my own high school experience, and I was not a fan of my high school classes, I was truant all the time and... But I always loved the library. I also connected a lot with the librarian. Our librarian actually was an older lady, it was a relatively traditional space, it just basically had books and then a couple of computers and it was relatively simple. But it was a very welcoming place. I also think of libraries as accepting places, a lot of folks would use it as a way to get out of class, but really what they were doing was they wanted to go there because it was calm and people cared about you there, and they felt like they asked you how you were doing. It was a very non-compliance, non-authoritarian space.

0:06:41.9 CM: So yes, it got you out of class, but the reason why you wanted to get out of class was that it felt different to be there. It's a little more complex than that, and I think that's a good segue into just talking about what is the purpose of a library, especially inside of a school. I think that even when I was younger, I don't know if it's still the case, but they used to call them instead of libraries, a media center, to focus more on research and finding and using sources on the internet, et cetera. In your opinion, what is a purpose of a library?

0:07:13.2 DH: Yeah, And we still use the term Media Center. So I am a library media specialist. Books, internet, all of those different things are just mediums for the transference of information, so whether it be a book or it be a computer or a video, a DVD. Do we still use DVDs? Blu-ray, whatever it might be. All of that is just for transference of information, so... Yeah, I like the idea of the library being that accepting space, 'cause the librarian has a really special position with students in that they never have to judge performance. Students all have a favorite teacher, but at some point, eventually that teacher's gonna judge their performance on something, they're gonna assess their abilities and the school librarian never has to do that.

0:07:57.5 DH: So I'm in this great position that I get to be an advocate for students, that I get to be someone in the same position as a school counselor that I get to build a relationship with them that's completely outside of just, what are you able to do? What are you able to accomplish and that who are you as an individual and a person? That's my number one idea of what a library should be is building a relationship with students because that helps create all these other opportunities for learning that once I know them as an individual, that helps me get back to my original purpose of, here's a great book that you might like, or here is a great resource that you might be able to utilize in your classes.

0:08:35.5 DH: So that relationship piece, I think, is the most important aspect of the school library. Me in my position used what I'm doing with relationship building to start a lot of social-emotional learning initiatives across the school will like I'm over our school survey of social-emotional learning for students. I hate that a lot of times that students have no ownership over their own data, that whether it be their grades or the GP or whatever, the school owns it, they have to pay for a transcript or whatever, so I take the data from the surveys and take it to the students, let them wrestle with the data with me because it's their information.

0:09:17.2 DH: Again, libraries being this place of open source knowledge, you can come and learn about this if you'd like to learn about it, which I really look for those students that fall through the cracks, that... The library kids, those are the ones that are skipping class 'cause they need a different space. I want them to feel like they're engaged somewhere, not just, Here's a space where you feel calm and that you're not having to deal with all the heartache or troubles or headaches or whatever of the classroom, but here's a place where you actually belong.

0:09:46.9 DH: This idea of the library is so much more than just, Here's the silent sanctum or the book depository, but as a space where students can actually feel like that that's where they belong in the school, and they have an adult in the building they can talk to. I know that every bit of research about Social-Emotional Learning shows the importance of having an adult they can talk to, at least one that says their name every day. And you mentioned that with your school librarian, we are that person that they can come and talk to because they know that, like I said before, we're not gonna judge them, we're just there to accept them.

0:10:18.2 CM: I can't help but think as you're explaining all of this, 'cause it's such an important topic that this feeling of belonging and having that connection to the library and the librarian is especially in maybe the last year or so, been a lot more difficult. As different political forces, culture war forces, etcetera, have come in and said like, Hey, you're not going to have this book or this book is inappropriate, etcetera, with those books being primarily focused on student identity, race, gender, sexuality, etcetera. How do you negotiate that as a librarian, knowing that your role is very much centered on those connections, but the exact same time school regulatory policy, politics, whatever, might force you into restricting what it is that you can do.

0:11:08.3 DH: Right, and I think a lot of the forces right now are trying to... There's gonna be First Amendment lawsuits and all this that happens with everything that's going on, but I think what they're really trying to push for is silent censorship that they want librarians to censor themselves, that I'm too afraid to purchase this material because it might get challenged which every school board in America already has a material challenge policy. This is nothing new, there's always been a route for parents to challenge materials in a school library. That's been around for decades, but this new push, I think is just to fear-monger that librarians will not purchase the materials because there's always been a route for parents to challenge and all of those usually have to go through a very lengthy process.

0:11:52.6 DH: It's not just that I don't like this book, so the librarian pulls it, there's a lengthy process of having to go through a committee that all reads the book and will make a decision that goes to the school board for them to make a decision, so there's this... Generally, there are really lengthy processes, which there's so much more than what they're currently pushing is that if a parent isn't like the librarian pulls it. Of course, as a librarian, not a fan of a parent choosing what someone else's kids can read. If you have a problem with the topic, then that's something you should talk to your own child about and make that decision together, and even then, these are teenagers, they should be able to make their own decisions that if they would like to read a book... I've had students in the past that have told me like, I can't take this home, can I just check it out and leave it here and read it while I'm here, because if I get caught with this I'll be in trouble.

0:12:39.3 DH: So obviously, we make arrangements so that they can read it while they're at school so that something doesn't happen to them at home. Currently there's a push in Florida for the library management system called Follett to send an email to parents for every book they check out so that they couldn't just check out something and keep it at school so that, that way the parent would always know, which... Librarians are really big on privacy. That's one of our biggest tenets is the privacy of the patron. That goes completely against the Library Bill of Rights from the American Library Association. Like I had mentioned earlier, that's their data. That's their information, that's their reading log. What they've checked out is their private information. It should stay that way.

0:13:26.4 DH: Yeah, we're in a really strange position right now. In a lot of states like Tennessee being one of them, about a month or so ago, there was a celebrity who testified to the state legislature and he asked what's the difference between a school librarian, and a man in the white van with no windows sitting outside the school? He said the kids can run from the guy in the van. They can't run from a school librarian. So there is all kinds of attacks of school librarians being groomers and endangering children and all of these things that... It's a really weird place to be in. But librarians are really fighting back because we obviously care about the children and we're trained. We have master's degrees. We have advanced degrees on how to select books that are age appropriate, that are appropriate for where students are or at as human beings developmentally.

0:14:19.8 DH: It's an attack on professionalism. There's a group called FReadom with the R-E-A-D in FReadom. The FReadom for Students to read this out of Texas, Carolyn Foote. So we're pushing back and advocating as much as we can. And I think that a lot of librarians are going to push the boundaries and see what happens. Myself being one of those that we have students that need these materials, that... Or have things going on in their lives that they need to be able to read about and learn about. So we'll see what happens in the next few years. Not the most exciting place to be right now because of the forces trying to censor our ability to help all students, but that's what we're here for.

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0:16:08.0 CM: It's definitely a dangerous situation, especially from that silent censorship angle. I think about... Certainly from a librarian angle, but from an English teacher angle, I know so many English teachers who are not introducing certain topics because they don't want to deal with the parent fallout. The hate you give has been a really big one, which in years past was not really that big of a deal. But now it's just like, "I don't want to deal with it." I don't wanna have to deal with people that are constantly coming after me. And that to me is highly concerning. I can't help but draw the line between the stories that you're sharing about testifying against librarians and the role of a library.

0:16:53.0 CM: And also just the cutting of funding to libraries in general and whether or not we'll see more attacks on having a library at all. And kind of in that same vein, I think about maybe the last ten years or so, the shift of libraries in schools moving towards kinda workplace centric spaces like makerspaces, Fab Labs. And I literally teach in a Makerspace a lot of the time. But our school does not have a library that is our school's "library". And I personally am not a huge fan of that. I personally think that you should also have books and a space to do research in a quiet space sometimes. And sometimes maybe it's a little bit softer, but a Makerspace is not that, is very much different. I'm curious about your thoughts on the shift from the traditional library to these other spaces and perhaps how that could connect to what we're seeing from politicians and from advocates to maybe defund or remove libraries.

0:17:55.2 DH: Yeah, so I think that I personally have nothing against makerspaces and fab labs. I don't have one in my library. We have a separate makerspace in our school which the engineering classes are taught in. So we have a separation at our school, which is good because I know nothing about engineering. But I obviously want to advocate for books being in a library outside of just being able to be a holder of foundational knowledge or whatever from all the research that you do and the information that you glean from books. There's so much importance in just being able to read a piece of fiction.

0:18:27.7 DH: Dr. [0:18:33.7] ____Bishop has in Library World this research on mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors that books provide all of those things that they give you a mirror to yourself, but they also give you a window to glimpse into the lives of other people and then a sliding glass door to step into those lives. So, that's one of the guiding principles of librarianship, is that mirrors, windows, sliding glass doors, that novels and fiction give you the ability to learn empathy and how other people live their lives so that we can have a better understanding of all cultures and all different peoples. With the push towards a full makerspace, you're losing all of that. And again, I love students having information, having knowledge...

0:19:14.0 DH: But then they need to be able to do something with that. What good does it do a student to have all this trivia knowledge if they can't do anything with it? So I like a nice balance of, here's the space in the library where you can learn, then here's the space where you can create something with that knowledge. That we want them to be either generative thinkers, or creative thinkers. That they make something new or they take something existing and do something new with it. We wanna see that happen in the library. 'Cause we don't want just to see the part where they find information then leave with it. So I love the idea of them creating in the library. Whatever my students... They do a lot of design thinking in the library to try to create community solutions.

0:19:55.8 DH: So I used... Before the pandemic hit, I taught a class called Community Improvement, where our students would look at our region and then find issues that they saw, and then try to create solutions alongside of users. And then pitch those solutions to the people in the community that can make them happen, and then actually go out and do the thing. We didn't have a makerspace or whatever, but we were able to take the information and research that we did on a topic and do something with it. And that's what we wanna be able to see is that okay, I'm a holder of foundational knowledge, but then I'm also able to take it and apply it to life and be collaborative with it and create new work or whatever.

0:20:38.6 CM: To me, a lot of that... The work surrounding makerspaces and fab labs are not necessarily rooted in a pedagogical lens. A library is a pedagogy, it's doing research and applying it as you're talking about it, it's about obtaining knowledge. A makerspace is more... It can have a makerspace pedagogy, but I think that typically how it tends to be implemented is more so just, "Hey, we did a project, now we're gonna go make a 3D model." And it doesn't really have any extension beyond that, it's just, it's a thing that exists, and it looks kind of cool at the end, but it doesn't really mean anything. It doesn't have any actual purpose for student learning outside of having an interesting end product. And it seems like, more and more, a lot of libraries are shifting into just being spaces that create, as opposed to spaces that have those resources there.

0:21:30.3 CM: Sadly I tour a lot of schools, and a lot of schools are starting to remove books and instead put in poster printers and those giant 3D material printers, and as you just said, it's not that those things are bad, but over time, it's shifting the purpose of a library to be more almost like an engineering space. Which is a little bit different than what it is that you were just talking about here in this first half. I guess that all builds into just the idea of, what is the purpose of a library in specifically a school context with classrooms? So when you remove a library, what is the danger when it comes to a regular classroom and the connections that they make with the library?

0:22:14.8 DH: Yeah, so like you mentioned in the beginning of the podcast about your journey of becoming a history teacher when you wanted to be a librarian, and the idea of having to meet the standards. And like you have your classroom materials that you're given by the state maybe. I know that's the way our state is that, "Here's your textbook," and such. That the library has so many supplementary materials, that you don't have in the classroom that we are able to offer. Whether that be a book or a database or... Sometimes we even have educational games, or headsets, all these different things that we can offer that you don't get to have in the classroom.

0:22:50.8 DH: We're able to cater our budget based off of the needs of the school. So if the Social Studies Department really wants to be able to do this thing, but they don't have the funding for it. They might be able to come to the library and say, "We wanna be able to do this, can you help us?" Or... There's not a department in the school that I've not worked with that has come to the library and said, "Can we have assistance with this?" Which begins a lot with me as the librarian going out and telling people, "This is what I can offer you." That a lot of people just assume that the library is for the English and the Social Studies teachers, that those are the most closely aligned to what the library does, they're gonna be reading and researching, that's what happens.

0:23:30.3 DH: So a lot of it for librarians is, "I need to go advocate to the whole school that I can offer all of these different things for you. That whether... You mentioned earlier the budget cutting, yes, that's totally a thing that happens, but are there other kinds of resources that I can offer you? Are there websites or lesson plans, because we're trained educators as well. We're certified educators. We have the ability to create lessons or... I've co-taught a lesson in every subject, I'm sure at this point. It would range from one day I am working with a Biology class, and the next day I'm working with Criminal Justice on looking at Supreme Court cases. We have that ability to be chameleons and fit in with any subject.

0:24:19.9 DH: And especially love doing co-curricular things, interdisciplinary. That we love working across disciplines, and one of the good things about a library is we're just a really big space. We have the ability... If two classes wanna work together, let's say that a Science and a Math class wanna do a project together, and they can't combine their classrooms because there's too many students out to fit in one classroom. So the library is just a really good space for that. And when you're in my big space, you get me too. I am also available to help in all of the teaching and whatever project design that you're doing, 'cause librarians are trained in instructional design when we're in library school. So those are things that we have the ability to do. That's one of the things we love doing the most.

0:25:03.8 DH: When I talk to other librarians, we don't wanna just be there to be the ones like, "Okay, this is how you use a database, go back to your class and figure out, do your research." We don't wanna do that, we wanna get in the research with you. Usually whenever a class is going to come and a teacher says, "Can you teach them how to use the databases?" I'll say, "Yes, can I stay with them?" Because I wanna work with the students on it. 'Cause I don't wanna just say, "Here it is, goodbye." I wanna say, "Okay, let's really get into it together. I wanna make sure that you find the best material possible. Like you've mentioned, you have standards and you've got pacing guides and all this stuff. So I wanna be able to use the time that I have to make sure that you get the best information possible in your work."

0:25:43.3 DH: And I think that's one of the most important things in libraries right now are making sure that students can validify information. That they get the best information possible because there's so much information out there. I think about... And whenever you teach freshmen, I know you see this, that you talk, "Alright, we're gonna do a research paper. Start researching topic," and the first thing to do is go to Google, and they click the first thing that pops up, and it's probably something that they paid to have the top ad or the top thing on Google, and they just start copying it out. Or something on social media has popped up and they're like, "Hey, did you see this news article?" And that you can read just the URL of the website and it's like, "Wow. That is definitely not valid. Look at the name of that website." It's like 40 characters long. And this really important aspect for librarians right now is that we need to help every subject in teaching, this is how you find valid information, because one of our biggest things in libraries is that we do not wanna teach reliance on someone else.

0:26:42.2 DH: And a lot of times in the traditional classroom we're teaching kids to be reliant on someone to give you information. That's the last thing we want in libraries... Is that we want students to be able to go out and find it on their own. So that once they graduate they don't need to have someone say, "Here's the information," 'cause that's whenever they start going to Facebook to find out their news. They need to be able to have the skills and the mental agility to find information, question it, see if it's valid and then accept it or discard it.

0:27:11.7 DH: So that's a big thing right now, is that we're teaching all subjects... Teachers will bring them or I'll say, "Hey, can I work with your students on validifying their information?' Whether it be an English class, or a history class, or science or whatever.

0:27:25.2 CM: It sounds like it presents the opportunity when you work with teachers to expand upon that pedagogy and model the importance of both self-determination theory and self-directed learning, as well as a critical pedagogy. Because you can be that person in that space that helps guide learners. Because you don't have to. I recognize that there are plenty of schools where you do have to follow the standardized pacing guide. But there are a lot of ways typically to get around that in a... Even in traditional schools. And I think by inviting them to that space, you can show them like, "No, you could do it this way."

0:27:58.6 CM: It's gonna feel a lot different. It's gonna be a little bit more probably organized chaos than everyone doing the same topic, but there's a space there to learn to help folks get there. And as you say, it also might help stop the negative effects of standardization on things that involve libraries really like the fact that a lot of adults don't read books at all because they had negative experiences with books when they were younger.

0:28:25.0 CM: I've never met a first or second grader who doesn't read. They all read stuff because it's fun. But the second that we're like 22 like, "Well I'm not gonna read a book. That's lame." I was like, "Well, there's actually a lot of really great literature out there that you can engage in." But the experience of schooling has really negatively impacted that. I notice that, especially with homeschool students who transition to public school I've noticed are always vicarious readers, whereas most of my students are not. So it both offers the opportunity for you to come in and introduce a pedagogy and transform how learning works, but also maybe you potentially counteract the more negative effects of traditional classrooms.

0:29:06.7 DH: And I think that... I'm glad you brought that up. There's a great book by Kelly Gallagher called Readicide. That you might have seen before, that talks about how schooling really destroys the love of reading. 'Cause you think about small children and they beg to be read to and they can't wait to learn how to read. And like you mentioned, first and second graders love reading books.

0:29:26.3 DH: Before I was a high school librarian I was an elementary librarian, and whenever I would bring up like, It's time to find your book for the week, they would lose their minds. It was hard to keep track of them 'cause they were all over the place, just wanting to get books to take home. Begging to take more than just their allotted amount that they were allowed to have. And then yeah... We start... Which... Accelerated Reader also does this. That we start assessing based off of their reading. And that's what really kills that love of reading.

0:29:53.4 DH: And then the books that we choose to teach in our English classes are so outdated and sometimes monotonous that they just can't connect to. They're all written by dead White men. I know that's a huge issue that we have, that we don't have much diversity in our selections in English classes, which the library is able to provide. That I know that, again, going back to the political forces right now they're trying to get rid of that diversity in literature.

0:30:22.0 DH: But we offer so much that... And again, we're not assessing you on it... Like an English... And I have nothing against English teachers, I love my English teachers that I work with. But they're going to guide you in what you think about what you're reading. There's so little space for you to have your own opinions on what you're reading. That you're gonna have the guiding questions at the end of the chapter, and all of those things that really put you in a box in your understanding of literature that you don't get to explore it on your own.

0:30:50.8 DH: And the library opens up... Again, this goes back to the very beginning in your relationship building that getting the kids in the library is so important because they're gonna be surrounded by books. And eventually there's gonna be a cover that catches their attention. They're going to get it. I've had so many students that'll come in and they'll tell me, "I'm not gonna check out a book." I'm like, "Okay, that's fine. Just come in here and hang out and we'll talk."

0:31:17.6 DH: And eventually, they see a book and they get it. And they'll say like, "Don't say anything. Don't say I told you so." I go, "Okay I won't say a word just check out the book and enjoy it." I love every time that happens, because eventually their wall gets broken down just because they see the book displays or whatever. I intentionally will put books at the table they sit at, 'cause I figure out, "Okay, this kid sits there every day." So I'm gonna start putting... Based on what we've talked about, I'm gonna start putting a book at that table. I'm gonna switch my displays up. So that way they're eventually will keep seeing that book and they're gonna check it out. It's going to happen.

0:31:53.9 DH: And most often it does happen. So that... It goes back to being... I don't think there's anything wrong with librarians being the book people. I think we do so much more than that, but I think being the person that helps instill the love of learning back into high schoolers, I think that's such an important position to have.

0:32:08.1 CM: Yeah, promoting literacy in general is one of those staples. Kids need to know how to read. But they will learn how to read by reading things that are interesting that they like to do. That's gonna be way more powerful if they're just intrinsically motivated to do it. Because you are when you're younger, there's no reason why you can't be when you're older. I think about a lot of my personal experiences with reading in school and Lexile levels, and being told like, That book is either too easy or too difficult.

0:32:35.1 CM: And I was always a fan of picking the hardest possible book, even though I had no idea what was going on, just because I was always fascinated by Moby Dick or something like that. These super thick books were just... Had this ancient text with it, and it just felt like I was discovering at one of those old libraries. Which coincidentally is my favorite book which... I love that book. But yeah, I really like that concept of how do we get learners to be intrinsically motivated and reshape schools via using libraries as transformative pedagogy. Readicide is a great example of that. Kelly Gallagher's work in general. I'm curious about any final thoughts you have or appeals you have to educators about libraries or the work that you do.

0:33:17.3 DH: Please utilize your school library. The librarians want to be used. If they are not advocating for themselves, I wanna advocate for them that the library is such an essential space, especially for students. So please support your school librarians, whether it be... If it's administrators, teachers, whoever's listening. The school library wants to be used whether it be monetary or whatever you're doing. And don't just use the library as a backdrop for photo ops. That's a thing that happens in a lot of places, is that if someone comes in, like a dignitary or something, that they'll use the school library as a great backdrop for a picture opportunity.

0:33:54.5 DH: We're so much more than that. We like you coming in, but don't just come, show up and take a picture and leave. We can provide so much more than just that. So my last minute plea is just utilize the space. It can be so much more than what you realize it can be.

[music]

0:34:15.3 CM: Thank you again for listening to the Human Restoration Project podcast. I hope this conversation leaves you inspired and ready to push the progressive envelope of education. You can learn more about progressive education, support our cause and stay tuned to this podcast and other updates on our website at humanrestorationproject.org.

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