I am the Director of Libraries at Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, a PreK through 12 school that is neither in Wyoming or a seminary. I love living in northeastern Pennsylvania, working with my history teacher husband every day, and bringing my golden retriever, Bugsy, to work, even though he is more popular than I am. I can be found regularly reflecting on my profession on my blog, The Sassy Librarian.
My friend Laura Pearle began her library career with a three-year stint as a student library aide at Emma Willard School, followed by a 16-year hiatus while she explored the varied worlds of college, Off-Broadway theater, investment banking and executive recruiting, among others. Since returning to independent school libraries in 1996, she has focused on the evaluating accreditation process, investigating the K-20 skills curriculum and developing her Personal Learning Network. Her writings have appeared in such journals as Independent School and Knowledge Quest, as well as the Association of Teachers in Independent School quarterly. Laura was Head Librarian at the Hackley School in Tarrytown NY.
“No man is an island” wrote John Donne – the same can be said about independent school librarians. Sometimes it feels as though we’re islands; often we’re the only librarian in the school or the only librarian for our division (while the others are in separate facilities). There’s no need to feel isolated: we can all paddle to another island, and build bridges between facilities, librarians and schools. While we may be islands within our individual schools, in reality, we're more like Galapagos fauna, evolving in our own ways but with common ancestors and shared resources. Reaching outside our library doors to other departments within our schools and to librarians at other schools is critical to our practice and pedagogy.