St. Rita Catholic School

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Mrs. Alice McGoldrick » Hello Reader!

Hello Reader!


Welcome to the St. Rita School Library/Snyder Learning Center and thank you for stopping by to check out my profile. You must be a library fan, too!


Time really does seem to fly when you have one of the best jobs in the world. I joined the St. Rita School staff in 2002(!) as the Assistant Librarian.  The school library was a quiet place back then, with three student computers for searching the catalog and taking AR quizzes.  For teaching, I would set up a portable screen and attach an LCD projector on a cart to one of the student computers!  Students were limited to checking out 2 books and could not use pens or colored markers in the library!  Fast forward 18(!) years to our vibrant library space with electronic Smartboard, class set of ipads, twelve computers for student use, self checkout station, eBook offerings, Sphero bots for programming, STEM activities, BreakoutEdu kits, quarterly Exploration Stations and increased checkout allowances.  With the school’s addition of PK and Advanced classes, the Assistant Librarian and I serve seven more classes than the original 2002 library schedule.  The SRS Library/Snyder Learning Center presents regular visits to our school by authors, illustrators and storytellers, both in-person and virtually.  We coordinate the annual middle school spelling bee, the annual Literary Pumpkin display, Texas Bluebonnet Award reading program, Irma Black and Cook Prize reading programs, Six Flags and other ad hoc reading incentives.  The library is a hub of activity with scheduled classes, drop-in visits by students and teachers, small-group work sessions and early-bird readers. The SRS Library/Snyder Center in 2020 is a 21st century hub of reading, learning and experimentation.  In this time of pandemic, we are actively looking for innovative ways to serve our students and faculty. Take a look at our collection, ebooks and research databases at


From a family of readers and writers, I decided to pursue librarianship after reading What Else Can You Do With a Library Degree?, by Betty-Carol Sellen, the summer after my junior year in college.  I have a BA in History from Rice University and a Masters in Library & Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin.  I have experience in public, corporate and school libraries, having worked at Austin Public Library as a storyteller and puppeteer, for McKinsey & Company as an Information Specialist in Dallas and Madrid, and here at St. Rita School. Born and raised in the Middle East and Latin America, I bring an appreciation of other cultures and languages to my work as a librarian, sharing stories from other lands and growing a collection of diverse books.  My husband and I met here in Dallas when we were both puppeteers for the Eberle Puppet Players in our spare time. We have two now-grown children who came with me to school at St. Rita and then went on to attend high school at Jesuit and Bishop Lynch.  Both share my love of faraway places; my son currently lives in Sweden and speaks four languages, my daughter studied German and then lived in Jordan and Morocco to become fluent in Arabic.  St. Rita School gave both my children a strong education and laid an excellent foundation for their successful transitions through high school, college, graduate studies and professional life.  I hope that I and the SRS Library will be part of your own children’s success.


I strongly believe in the importance and power of reading. I’m quite passionate about the need for growing the love of reading and the appreciation of fact-based information in our children.  Reading helps us to understand people and worlds outside of our own, reading helps us to understand and develop ourselves, reading builds our empathy, reading sustains our democracy and reading helps us to think outside the box to solve problems and create solutions. We hope to grow readers at the SRS Library.  To paraphrase “book whisperer” Donnalyn Miller, there are no reluctant readers, only dormant ones. Graphic books, short stories, audiobooks, ebooks, browsable nonfiction, three-inch fantasy novels: it’s all reading and, ultimately, it’s all good.


After reading the classic picturebook and Caldecott Award winner Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, second grade classes created their own "Wild Selves" on the New York Zoos and Aquarium website,
After meeting Mrs. McGoldrick's mascot puppet, LiBeary Dan, and enjoying their first story program at the Snyder Learning Center, Kindergarteners are enjoying their books in the renovated window seats.

Author of Action & Adventure Books Wows Students and Faculty


Author Roland Smith, visiting St. Rita School on May 11, completely engaged students and faculty with tales of his adventures as a zoo curator and conservation biologist and his work as a writer of adventure novels for young people. The author showed pictures of red wolves he helped to reintroduce to the wild, sea otters he cleaned up after the Exxon Valdez disaster and the elephants and snow leopards he worked with at the zoo.  With stories, humor and energy the former zoo keeper had the kids eating out of his hand.  Smith had them repeat fun phrases and words after him: “Blubber layer”, “chupacabra”, “acclamation pen”, “mokele-mbembe” and “sloppy copy”.  In four minutes he told them the secret of writing successfully:  Read A LOT, research, research, research, write about something you CARE about, file away notecards with ideas, don’t start writing until you put your ideas up on a storyboard to develop the arc of your story, write your story and then revise, revise, revise.  “Repeat after me:  Writing is REVISION”, he told the students.  And when your teacher gives back your “sloppy copy” with all kinds of red marks and suggestions he says, “Get over it.”  Smith researches for almost a year and more before he begins to flesh out a novel on a storyboard and write.  After that, he rewrites a book as many as fifteen times BEFORE he sends it to his publisher, who then returns the draft to him with all of those unpleasant red marks and sticky notes.  Roland’s last advice to the students was, “Read.  Read this summer.  Read a little every day.”

We are almost to the SUMMIT!  The librarians have been tracking the countdown to author Roland Smith's visit by "climbing" Everest along with the author.  Mr. Smith will be here this Wednesday, May 11 for grades 4 thru 8.  Thank you to Library Aide Mrs. Schaffer for her ingenious display!
Accelerated Reader Raffle Baskets are now on display!  Students will soon be cashing in their reading points in exchange for raffle tickets, gift cards, snack packs and Nothing Bundt Cakes bundtlet coupons!

Experiencing Oral Tradition

Fourth Graders are trying an experiment with Mrs. McGoldrick.  After learning about folktales and oral traditions in homeroom, Library classes have been divided up into three "generations" of "families".  The first generation has just learned a type of folktale called a "Noodle Tale" from Mrs. McGoldrick, Juan Bobo and the Pot That Would Not Walk.  Their job is to "pass it down" to the second and third "generations".  In a couple of weeks, the last "generation" will tell the tale aloud to the class and we will learn what has been lost...and what has been added!

Poetry Open Mic - Inspiring More Original Poems!

Spring Poem
by Jack R. and Thomas R.
Butterflies are all around.
They are very flappy.
We like to play and shout HOORAY!
Everyone is happy.
Flowers are blooming very fast.
It is such a sight.
It is so much fun that I definitely
(Check out the VIDEOS folder to see Jack R. and Thomas R. reading their original poem aloud to Library class during our Poetry Open Mic.)

Poetry Open Mic - Inspiring More Original Poems!

by Isaiah V.
So many blossoms!
So many flowers!
So much flying hours!
So much nectar
Needed to eat so the
Honey will end up sweet.
Check out the VIDEOS Folder to see Isaiah read his original poem.
More videos of our Poetry Open Mic for 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th grades can be found in the VIDEOS Folder.

Miss Kelly's 2nd graders enjoy hanging out and reading after sharing poems during their library class Poetry Open Mic.

Book Talk - 4th Grade - Savvy

Elizabeth J. shares her enthusiasm for the book, Savvy, by Ingrid Law, with her 4th grade class with a book talk she wrote especially for Library Class. Savvy is an excellent book for 4th through 8th grades.
Students celebrate Poetry Month in April by performing for each other during our informal Open Mic at the start of each library class.  Students sign up to read or recite poems which they have chosen or even composed themselves.  Check out our Poetry Open Mic videos in my Video folder.