A day in the life of a school librarian

8HIn their recent three part series on school libraries, NorthJersey.com wrote about the High, Middle and Elementary school libraries of Millburn Township. Although in New Jersey, the stories they share are nearly universal across school libraries today.

The first part discusses the work of Millburn High School Librarian LaDawna Harrington. Her work bridges print and digital, but moves beyond the information source. “More than ever we live in a complicated information-inundated world and so students really have to learn to think for themselves,” she said.

Thinking critically about information is important for any life-long learner. “I can’t possibly anticipate what the next technology is going to be,” she continues, “so for me the most important thing is helping students to realize that they need to think critically about the information they’re gathering and looking for, and to provide multiple access points to the collection.”

The second part highlights the work of Millburn Middle School’s Librarian Amy Ipp. Her work prepares them for high school but also continues the love for reading established in elementary school. “One of the things that I really love about the middle school is students are still really interested in the pleasure of reading,” she said, “matching the book with the reader is fun for me.”

Finally, the third part of the series features Glenwood School Librarian Shea Stansfield. Not simply a place to check out picture books, Stansfield works on students’ public speaking skills through research projects. “I have them pick a topic they are interested in and have them choose three things they want to tell the students about, say, skates, bicycles, or LEGOS,” she said, “so when they get into research projects in third, fourth and fifth grade they’re familiar with the process because they’ve done it with something they’re interested in.”

We at CMLE are sure you have your own school library stories to share. Whether they are from your youth or if you are a school librarian living them now, please share them with us in the comments below or email us!

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