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An Interview with Librarian Ann C.
Everyday, kids read. But where do the books come from? At our school, Ann C. is one of the librarians that help students on a regular basis. Not just a teacher, Ann, helps children discover information and plan schedules.
Why did you become a librarian? Was it your original career choice?
I became a librarian because I have a passion for improving literacy skills (both reading and information seeking) among young people. Originally, I went to the University of Iowa and double majored in Journalism and Communication Studies. As I continued through college, my summers and free time were spent working with children, at special education day camps and other child care roles. I realized my true calling was to be an educator. I then earned my Master's degree at Dominican University in Library and Information Sciences, while working at an elementary school as a special education assistant, and then as library assistant.
What are your roles as a librarian?
My job has many different aspects. First and foremost, I am a teacher. What I consider to be my most important roles are to encourage personal reading among my students and to improve information literacy skills. The world has a massive amount of information, and if my students feel comfortable navigating that information, they will succeed. As LMC director, I also collaborate with other teachers to design research lessons, book talks, and other projects. I organize all of the resources available to students and teachers, and also spend quite a bit of time scheduling time in the LMC for classes.
Do you enjoy your work? Why or why not?
I absolutely love my job and cannot imagine doing anything else. The best part about my job is working with the students. When students find a book that they can connect to, or finally find that piece of information they have been missing in their research, it is very rewarding. Every day is different, and even when the LMC has a rare quiet moment, there is always something to work on.
Did you plan on being a librarian?
I did not plan on being a librarian until I was at the end of my undergraduate degree at the University of Iowa. I had originally pursued journalism because of my love of writing. While using the library in college and working with children, I knew that educational field was where I was headed.
If you could start all over, would you still choose this career?
If I could start all over, I would absolutely still choose this career. Actually, I wish I had realized sooner that this would be my career, but I am so thankful for the journey that took me here.
What are some of the weirdest requests you've had or things you've done at your job?
Many students need assistance researching different topics, finding books, or just want to have a conversation. I'm pretty open with conversation and I can't honestly say that I have found any requests weird! I want students to feel comfortable in the LMC and having a conversation with me.
Is this your first job? If not, what was your previous job?
This is not my first job, but it is my first job as a certified school library information specialist. As I said earlier, I worked during college in child care roles. After Iowa, while I went to graduate school, I worked as a special education and library assistant.
Describe your workplace.
My workplace is one of the best workplaces I can think of! I am surrounded with teachers who love their jobs. I am surrounded with students who feel comfortable and welcome in the LMC. The LMC is one very large space that is usually full of students. I would say I work in an extremely positive atmosphere.
How does this job affect your personal life?
This job affects my personal life in a positive way. I usually come home from work in the best mood! I am excited to share stories about my day with my friends and family. One of the greatest aspects of my job is the homework I get to take home every day. I get to read every night to improve my knowledge of our library collection. I like to spend time working on the LMC website at home, planning lessons, and doing a lot of e-mailing with other teachers. I think this job is such an excellent part of my life.
What advice would you give to future librarians?
My advice to future librarians: Be prepared to stay educated, even after finishing your required education. This role is changing and will continue to change. Also, choose your age group that you work with carefully. Make sure if you work with children, you want to work with children. They deserve the best and a positive role model! Also, be flexible and open. The schedule changes, the day goes in different directions, and things don't always go as planned. Flexibility is an important characteristic to have!
What did you want to be as a kid?
I was a very lively and active kid. While I loved reading and writing, I never thought of becoming a librarian. When I first went to college, I had the intentions of becoming a public relations specialist. I also thought about becoming a journalist. I think a part of me always wanted to be a teacher, even as a kid. We had a large chalkboard in our basement, and I loved "playing school" with friends. I'm so thankful I discovered this career!