Describe how you stay passionate about your job in the library.
The joy and wonder of my students are the reasons I continue to be passionate about being a School Librarian. I cherish the relationships with individual students that can be created through reading. Connecting with kids through books and stories is a favorite component of my position. When Elementary students begin reading chapter books, we begin sharing our happiness of reading favorites. It is most gratifying to recommend a book for a student and then have that child come back to the library to demand and ask “…another book like that one!” or “…did he/she (the author) write anything else?”. Because our school is PreK – 12th grade, I also have the privilege of influencing students’ book choices throughout their Middle and High School careers.
Just as inspiring, is the wonder students exhibit with various technology and creative resources. Among the more cherished examples are the awe of Primary students when I first show them our school or they find their own residence for the first time on Google Earth, when they find videos to enjoy and share on Discovery Education by themselves, and when they build amazingly creative structures with classmates and sometimes students in other grade levels with manipulatives in the Makerspace areas.
What librarian mentor has played a role in your professional life?
There have been and continues to be many amazing School Librarians to inspire and encourage me in the area of Library Media. However, Janet Johnson Wells, has consistently encouraged me to go beyond the average and to continue to reach out of my comfort zone. I first met Janet as my professor at EKU, before I finished my School Library Certification or before I became a School Librarian, 15 years ago. Throughout the years, she has inspired me by example, challenging me directly and indirectly to aspire to teaching excellence and professional standards. Without her nomination and supportive encouragement, I’m quite sure I would not have ever served in the Intellectual Freedom Chair position. She inspires me and many others to embrace changes and challenges, then provides the support and encouragement needed for success.
KASL Intellectual Freedom Chairperson
Model Lab School Library, Eastern Kentucky University
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