Hello! My name is Prudie Thomas, and I am very excited to represent the Upper Cumberland Region Librarians on the KASL Board. I have been the library media specialist at Middlesboro Elementary School for thirteen years. I love my job, but I love my family even more. I have three children; Taylor, Tyson, and Daniel who get my full attention after my workday is through. Serving on the board is an honor for me and I cannot wait to learn and share with my fellow colleagues across our great state!
What librarian mentor, if any, has played a role in your professional life? How?
When I was in the Fourth Grade, my family moved away from the community and school that I have known my entire life. I was enrolled in a new school, in a new state the second half of that school year. My mother was working on her degree to be a school teacher at Lincoln Memorial University after being a stay home mother. She received a teaching job the beginning of my Fifth Grade year back in our home county.
I was yet again the “new girl” in less than 6 months. Fifth Grade girls aren’t always the most welcoming to a brand new girl when they have all been friends since Kindergarten. My librarian, Betty Clark, at Blackmont Elementary School recognized my love of books immediately. She took a young girl who was struggling to transition one more time, under her wing.
Mrs. Clark made sure her library was always open and welcome. I was allowed to come anytime I needed a “new book” to read. She was the kindest person I have ever known. It was not only her skills as a librarian and helping me find the perfect book to read, but her heart to help a struggling young girl make it in a new environment. I knew someday, I wanted to be like Mrs. Clark. To this day, I still try and call everyone of my 500 students by name and speak to them in the hallways because of the difference Mrs. Clark made in my life.