Fan Mail: Librarians are Rock Stars Edition
Some much deserved appreciation of some truly excellent educators from some very grateful AP teachers
We focus a lot on the heroic work teachers do every day ensuring their students have the tools and knowledge to succeed in an rapidly-changing, ever-evolving society. And rightly so! But they’re not the only ones changing young peoples’ lives.
Librarians are the unsung, all-too-often overlooked heroes of schools (and communities) across the country. At all levels, they are human recommendation engines, IRL community managers, and passionate advocates for core American freedoms of knowledge, expression, and assembly. And once they get to know you, look out! A lifetime of suggestions—for books, movies, music, and games—are yours for the asking.
These civic and cultural champions have been getting knocked around lately, particularly our nation’s school librarians. So during this School Library Month, particularly this National Library Week, we asked our network of AP Advocates to shout out the librarians making a difference in their schools, to students and educators alike. Give them a read, be inspired, then seek out your favorite librarian and tell them how much you appreciate all they do.
Carla Crocheron, our school's Library Media Specialist, is a rock star. She not only teaches students to do research and use different tools—in the library and beyond—but she conducts professional developments for staff that are engaging and thought provoking, allowing us to improve our teaching practices.
Nathaniel Wallace, Oxon Hill High School, Maryland
Caelea Armstrong is my hero. She does much with very little, and constantly seeks to get her teachers exactly what they need. She’s Always willing to ask what she can do to help and find solutions when we can't come up with them ourselves.
Michael Coffee, Penn High School, Indiana
A librarian cleans books at Freedom Preparatory Academy on August 13, 2020 in Provo, Utah, as teachers begin to prepare to restart school after it was closed in March due to covid-19.
Kerry Cerra is a published author and shares her passion for reading, literacy, and storytelling with our students and staff. She creates exciting interactive events in the media center and always finds a way to highlight and celebrate reading. (She has more than doubled the library’s circulation since becoming our media specialist.) Kerry cares for our students and will take the time to help each student find a book that is relevant to their lives and experiences. During the pandemic, she drove all over the county delivering books to students who wanted and needed them. She is a wonder, and I am so grateful to work with her.
Tamara Schoen, Coral Glades High School, Florida
On so many occasions, our former school librarian, Mrs. Sartin, would casually ask me what my students were currently studying. The next day I would find an email in my inbox with numerous ideas and resources for teaching that topic. She tended to know what I needed, even when I did not realize that I needed it.
Kate Malone, Piedra Vista High School, New Mexico
Keri Burns is an amazing librarian and partner at our school. She has created a library space that is warm and inviting, learning students' names and interests. She has also implemented innovative and creative library programming that draws students and staff to the library with events like author visits, book clubs and movie nights, monthly crafts, and Q&A panels. She is constantly meeting with staff and collaborating with teachers about how to utilize the library, its materials, and her knowledge. She’s a true partner with teachers, looking to enhance their lessons and experiences. Keri Burns has the heart to serve others, and we are so happy to have her here at CPHS.
Lauren Brannan, Cedar Park High School, Texas
Kind, supportive, and ever helpful, Mrs. Frecker is an excellent librarian. Because of her and her diligent efforts, my classes (both AP and others) have resources that enable our discussion. Without her, our class and the learning that comes from it would be severely limited.
Aaron Walker, Gallia Academy High School, Ohio
Laura Owen has served 11 years as librarian at Pflugerville High school, maintaining a welcoming and lively space, providing books in which teenagers can see their own experiences reflected. Ms. Owen also sponsors Key Club, No Place 4 Hate, Guitar Club, and Chess Club to help bring a wide variety of students into her library. She is known for her kindness and openness but also as a fierce advocate for students and intellectual freedom.
Dixie Ross, Pflugerville High School, Texas
Cathy Hammond was my colleague before she became a librarian. She gained library experience at the elementary level prior to returning to the high school. She relates to and inspires the students better than any other librarian I’ve worked with in 27 years. She deserves all the accolades!
Leah Sessum, Mineral Wells High School, Texas