March 2020 TASL Librarians of the Month

by Brandi Hartsell

Each month TASL recognizes three school librarians from across the state for their outstanding service to their school and community. Congratulations to the March 2020 Librarians of the Month.

East TN Librarian of the Month

IMG_4571 - EMILY DAVENPORT

Name: Emily Davenport

Hometown: Knoxville, TN

School: Carter High School

School District: Knox County

Grades Taught: 9-12

Average # of Students Per Class: 25

What do you love most about being a school librarian?

I love connecting students and teachers with books and finding answers to all kinds of questions.

What would someone see if they were to walk into your library?

The would find me working with students or teachers, my aides helping with other tasks, and lots of students working on computers.

What are you most proud of regarding your library program?

I have made the library and my position as one that I hope is indispensable to the student body and my faculty. I have a great collection of books and resources and fabulous library aides who help me in my various rolls in the daily tasks of running the library. My students and teachers come to me for everything–books, answers, tech help, advice, bandaids, and more.

What advice would you give a new librarian?

At school, I would try to get to know everyone on a personal level first and really listen to what teachers need. Tell them what you can do for them. Make procedures that free you up as much as possible to tackle the tough stuff. Empower teachers and students to do things themselves so they learn how to do the simple stuff. Take care of yourself and give yourself time to recharge, rest, reset. Our position is one-of-a-kind in most buildings to seek out and build professional networks of fellow librarians to grow yourself personally and professionally. And READ of course!

If you are willing, please provide us with a favorite activity description that we can share with other professionals. 

With my 9th grade wellness classes, we do a fast food nutrition activity that blends researching nutrition information with the components of a healthy meal. I also get to teach kids keyboard shortcuts (like Cmd=F) to find information on a page. So many kids lack basic computer skills like this that will make their lives easier, so this is a way I can sneak tips like that into their instruction. This link will take you to the worksheet we use for this project.

You can follow Emily’s library on Instagram @chslib and on Twitter @CarterHSLibrary.

Middle TN Librarian of the Month

March - Julie Halkiades

Name: Julie Halkiades

Hometown: Crossville, TN

School: Cheatham County Central High School

School District: Cheatham County

Grades Taught: 9-12

What do you love most about being a school librarian?

I love serving in the heart of the school and helping provide books and resources, whatever that may be, for all our students, teachers and staff.

What would someone see if they were to walk in your library?

They would probably see a class in the library using the computer lab or the group work tables, students or teachers working or reading on the sofa, students at the circulation desk checking out or returning laptops and/or books, and a group of kids playing chess or Uno.

What are you most proud of regarding your library program?

So far, I am most proud of updating the aged collection I started with and creating a safe and welcoming space that students and teachers feel comfortable in and want to visit for whatever their needs might be.

What advice would you give a new librarian?

As a new librarian myself, I would say, reach out to your mentors and other librarians for help. They have been a tremendous help to me and are the biggest reason I have had such a successful first year!

If you are willing, please provide us with a favorite activity description that we can share with other educators. 

As part of my library orientation lesson, I incorporated a group GooseChase scavenger hunt, that kept all students engaged. Even the seniors that were dreading their visit to the library said they had fun. You can access mine here to help you get started.

You can follow Julie’s library on Twitter @cheatam_lib

West TN Librarian of the Month

Alice Photo_crop
picture from MCH webpage

Name: Alice Duncan-Thompson

School: Middle College High

School District: Shelby County

 

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