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!
GOOD TIMES, GREAT CHANGES
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 https://www.strita.net/apps/pages/Library
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
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.
ON MY SOAPBOX...THE POWER & IMPORTANCE OF READINGI 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.