Q: You're new! Tell us about what you did before coming to Driscoll.
A: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself! Let me start my saying how lucky I feel to be the librarian at Driscoll. I’m just a week into the school year and I can tell how important the library is to the community - not just the students and staff, but the families as well. It is a dream position!I’m joining Driscoll from Watertown Public Schools, where I was for the past two years. Before that, I was working as a librarian on the coast of Maine. And before that, I spent many years working at Simmons College.Q: Tell us about how you decided to become a school librarian?A: It was a winding path to school librarianship! Growing up, I always loved books, reading and libraries. But it wasn’t until later in life that I found school librarianship. In college, I worked at my school’s art library. That’s when I became hooked on librarianship. I loved the books and helping connect people with the information they needed. I was an art history major, so when I went on to graduate school for library science, I pursued art librarianship. After I graduated, I landed what I thought would be my dream job: a visual resources librarian. Within a month of starting, though, I knew I had made a big mistake. Most of my time was spent alone in a room with thousands of slides, cataloging and digitizing. I was so bored! I returned to my graduate school to work. While working, I took more classes. As soon as I took school librarianship classes, I knew I had found my calling. I love the books. I love connecting with kids with books, hoping to help make them passionate, lifelong readers. I love the information literacy aspect too. In our digital age, it is so important for students to be able to efficiently find, evaluate, and use the information they need. I love making the library a welcoming place for all students, the busy hub of a school.Q: What are your favorite books?A: I have so many! Thank you for not asking for just one favorite. Here are a few:
Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak is one of my alltime favorites. So much happens in a mere 10 sentences and those amazing illustrations.
Elephant and Piggie series. Mo Willems is brilliant. Another author/illustrator who conveys so much with so little, which is no easy task.
- The Harry Potter series. My daughter and I are currently on third book. JK Rowling created an amazing world.
- Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai. A wonderful middle grade novel about family, roots, and culture.
- And two other picture books I just have to mention: Stuck by Oliver Jeffers and This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen.
I am forcing myself to stop now.
Q: What do you have planned for the Amy Neale Library this year?
A: There are so many things I’m excited about! I really look forward to getting to know the students and what they like to read. I can already tell Driscoll has a lot of passionate readers. I’m hoping to run a book award program for students in grades 4-8. Students will be invited to choose from a collection of 40 different books to read and evaluate. At the end of the year, students who read at least 5 of the books will be invited to vote for the one book they liked the best. What I like about this program is that it creates a community of readers, with students really engaged in the books, recommending (or not recommending) them to each other. I also hope to run a picture book award program with students in grades K-3. In addition, I look forward to working closely with teachers to integrate library resources and information literacy skills into the projects they are working on in the classroom.Q: Fun Fact: What's something we should know about you that we don't?A: I am desperate to see a snowy owl in the wild. I love birds. I could get chickadees to eat out of my hand when I was a girl. My daughter, Phoebe, is named both after a bird (the phoebe) and a chickadee song (fee-bee). In general, I keep an eye out for birds. Many snowy owls have been sighted around eastern Massachusetts in recent winters, but alas, despite my best attempts, I have yet to see one. If you get any leads on where to see one this winter, please let me know!