I have always loved field trips and am often disappointed to hear that when budgets get tight, field trips go away. As part of my library curriculum, I have a class of 26 Nordonia High School students who work in the library (we call it the IMC) and earn one course credit for the school year. I wanted to take a field trip with them to help expose them to other libraries besides the local ones they may visit with their families. I also wanted to include my Knight Reader Book Club members (I have about 15 of them) in order to give them the exposure as well, and I knew they would have a great time!
I applied for a local grant sponsored by the Nordonia Schools Foundation, a wonderful non-profit organization which provides mini-grants for school projects not funded through the district. I was only in need of funding for transportation, which they did agree to fund for us! Again, the Nordonia Schools Foundation is AMAZING!
I have a library connection with Cleveland Public Library (Rollie Welch) who put me in contact with CPL’s Youth Services Director Annisha Jeffries and she was awesome! She had an entire tour planned at CPL’s Downtown Cleveland buildings and even customized her tour for the library students (we were able to get a peek at the shelving room where all materials are returned). We were able to see the World’s Smallest Book (yes it is at CPL) and also the 3D printer. CPL also houses the world’s largest chess collection and we were able to see them…along with an old-fashioned card catalog (our students had no idea what this even looked like before our trip).
I also got in touch with Librarian at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives, Laura Moody, who also welcomed us and organized a little presentation on what a special library is all about (including the many rules of archives and the importance of maintaining security and copyright). This is a relatively new building, and it was very interesting to see the collections housed there-and one-of-a-kind archival materials around the genres of Rock and Roll music!
We spent the morning at CPL and then had lunch (students paid for their own lunch) at The Hard Rock Café. After lunch, we headed over to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives which is on the Cleveland Community College (Tri C) campus.
*The image below is our group picture outside the Cleveland Public Library’s Main Campus (known as the Historic building).
It was a wonderful field trip and the students learned many new things about libraries, and also took away with them a first-hand encounter to help broaden their knowledge on other libraries that are in and around their communities. We hope to take more field trips because first-hand experience really IS the best way to learn new things and experience new places! If you are planning a library field trip, I highly recommend it-it is a great form of advocacy as well as shows your students the various library environments that they can experience beyond what they are used to in their own communities!