Tina Johnson, Davis School District
Tina Johnson is the teacher librarian at Kays Creek Elementary and joins the UELMA board this year as our paraprofessional liaison.
When asked why she wanted to become a librarian, Tina said,
“Books are my life. I love to read. I love to talk books. I can’t think of anything better than being around books all day and helping kids find great books. I also really love teaching. I love teaching kids. I love coming up with fun lessons and helping kids learn.” Two librarians she considers mentors are Ann Riding and Selena Campbell, fellow UELMA board members. She considers them “conference buddies,” and says, “They both are amazing people and librarians. They have encouraged me to stretch and try new things.”
A recent favorite fiction book she has read is The Incredible Magic of Being by Kathryn Erskine. The book was actually a suggestion from a student, which she loves. She says,
“I want them to trust my suggestions to them, so I feel like I need to read their suggestions to me as much as possible.” What did she love about the book? It has “a cute quirky character who you can’t help but like, he’s wise and caring and willing to sacrifice for those he loves. He finds Magic in the universe and shares that magic with those around him.”
A favorite non-fiction book she recently read was Boys in the Boat, and Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier is one of her favorite graphic novels.
Tina’s fifth graders use Du Ink for green screen work when making book commercials for the whole school to view, and Adobe Spark is another favorite for allowing students to create their own content. When reading books in class, she uses Flipgrid for a way for students to express their opinions and ideas.
She also loves Twitter as a way to connect with authors, and learn from other librarians. What is the most important quality a librarian can have, in Tina’s opinion?
“I think librarians need to love kids first and then love books.”
When not in the library, she says,
“Spending time with my family takes top priority. My kids are older and I love when they all come home with their spouses or significant others. My daughters are my best friends. I love to read in my spare time and to do creative things like bullet journaling, quilting, card making and Macramé.”
Heather Price, Skyridge High School, Alpine School District
Heather Price joined UELMA has a board member this year. She has been the teacher librarian at Skyridge High School since it opened two years ago, and was previously at Canyon View Junior High School and Reagan Academy Charter School.
She became a librarian by accident, even though the career test she took in junior high told her to be one! Her supervisor for her student teaching in English, Sandy Barney at Lehi High School, became a librarian. She says, “I went to see if Sandy would still give me a recommendation as an English teacher, even though I’d taught for her a decade earlier. She told me being a librarian combined technology, reading, and teaching–all the things I loved–and that’s what I really should be doing instead. I signed up for a library certification program immediately…it was a total change in career that I will always be grateful for!”
Lately she can be caught reading Wires and Nerve, the graphic novel continuation of the Lunar Chronicles series, or Harry Potter, which she is finally reading for the first time. Her students challenged her to read the series by graduation and she’s halfway there! (And now she finally gets all of the references and jokes that students kept throwing at her–like her favorite, ”When in doubt, go to the library!”)
Two of Heather’s favorite technology tools are BreakoutEDU and NoodleTools. Having several BreakoutEDU kits has been a great way to get classes to come into the library! Her teachers have designed “escape rooms” based on everything from biology labs to the Salem witch trials. NoodleTools is her favorite online tool that she introduces students to during “Research Boot Camp”–a two week experience for all sophomores at Skyridge. She loves introducing students to such an easy way to collect and cite sources while during research projects!
Her favorite part of being a librarian is creating special events for her students–especially if it gives her an excuse to dress up in costume. When The Last Jedi came out, students signed up for a week of Force training, having to pass off tasks with their teachers who volunteered to be Sith or Jedi masters for the week. Her students spent this past May the 4th playing BB-8 mini-golf in the library!
Heather also loves to write, sew, work on her shop’s laser cutter or CNC machine, and travel anywhere by cruise ship!
As a charter school librarian I often feel isolated and alone. I don’t have a district meeting to attend I have no other librarians with which to collaborate. I know I learned how to weed and build a curriculum during my library endorsement but learning and hands on are a different story. I am eternally grateful for UELMA. It has given me a place to ask questions, learn skills and make friends with other librarians. If you are a lonely librarian such as I, or you know other librarians who might feel lonely please reach out to me at email@example.com.
Also please introduce them to our lovely organization of UELMA. Our focus on the board is to reach out and let you know we are not alone but also give you resources to make you a better librarian regardless of your schooling or previous background. I love what I do and want to be able to share and collaborate with amazing teacher librarians like you. Thank you for promoting a love of learning. I’ll look forward to hearing from you.
Lonely Librarian Part II (updated May 2018)
A big thanks to all the charter school librarians who came to our break out session at UELMA. It was nice to talk as a group about the excitements and also the concerns of being a charter school librarian. We find ourselves in a unique situation wishing there was more ways to collaborate and talk with other librarians. For starters we have a group email going where we can talk to each other and ask questions. If you would like to be included in this group email please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to start meeting quarterly to collaborate and hope to look at other methods to reach out. In the meantime if you feel like you need more support charter school librarian or not reach out we’ve got your back.
Written By Emilee McCoy