I love the world of education. From the time I was a young child, I wanted to be a teacher. I played “school” with my friends and my dolls, and I almost always played the role of the teacher. When I was in high school, my favorite class was English, so naturally, I set my sights on becoming an English teacher and impacting so many students just like my English teachers impacted me. In the fall of 2005, I completed my student teaching in a sophomore English and honors English classroom, and in the spring of 2006, I landed my dream job: teaching English at my alma mater, Olathe South High School. After years in the classroom, I decided that I wanted to change my career path slightly. I definitely do not want to leave the world of education, but now I want to help students navigate the highly sophisticated world of digital-age information and spur them on to become lifelong readers. I want to be a school librarian.
My goal as a school librarian is to help direct people, students specifically, to the type of information that will lead them to think deeply about issues in our world today and to make informed decisions that will impact our world positively. Increasingly, librarians have a great responsibility to do just this. No longer are librarians solely responsible for the physical books in their library; they are also responsible for managing the information that is on the Internet and to help students understand where to find reliable information. Helping students navigate the sea of irrelevant information is a crucial duty of an effective librarian in today’s world and one I look forward to fulfilling. Additionally, I am excited to collaborate with classroom teachers across all disciplines by providing fresh materials, resources, and technologies, as well as creative ways to integrate writing and increase students’ love of reading. To help meet my goal, I had to learn the contemporary strategies for effectively accessing information, and I accomplished this through Emporia State’s MLS Program.
Currently as an English teacher, I do have some power to impact students’ thinking, but there are limitations. My students are required to take my class; thus, their attitudes often reflect the fact that they are forced to sit in my classroom for 240 minutes a week. Many want to just get by meeting the minimum requirements, not thinking deeply about the subject matter. Discussions are often thwarted when one or two outspoken students bring the rest of the class down and make it “uncool” to put the effort in. As a school librarian, I could create an environment that students want to be a part of. The way a library is arranged and the programs associated with the library could make a once-reluctant student appreciate the freedom that access to quality information actually brings.
Librarians in any culture and era are custodians of knowledge. In our time and place, the form of these custodian duties is rapidly changing from print to electronic storage. Through my completion of Emporia State’s MLS Program, I gained the skills necessary to be an effective custodian of knowledge in the libraries of the twenty-first century.