Last week while I was in San Diego to attend the California School Library Association Conference, I had the opportunity to visit one of our Teacher Librarian Credential candidates, Laura Preble, at the Monte Vista High School Library. This past year, the Monte Vista HS Library was one of ten school libraries in California selected to receive a Laura Bush Foundation Grant (http://www.laurabushfoundation.com). To be eligible to receive a grant, a school must provide a designated library space that is staffed by a paid librarian. In addition, at least 85% of school’s population must qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch. Laura’s school met these qualifications, so she submitted an application that explained the need for a grant. At the time of the application, she was in her second year as Monte Vista’s teacher librarian. As she worked on collection development, she discovered there was a great need to improve the science and technology sections as they were lacking in providing current information to support assigned student research projects and career exploration. Given that the average cost of a non-fiction title ranges from $18.26 to $28.02 (http://www.slj.com/2015/03/research/sljs-average-book-prices-2015/#_), she knew that her annual library budget of $2,000 would not go far in meeting the need. Laura asked for and received $7,000 from the Laura Bush Foundation, which she used to purchase approximately 500 new books. She is currently working to promote the use of the new titles with both students and staff. Thus far, all have responded with enthusiasm to the availability of current resources. Monte Vista High School is extremely blessed to have Laura Preble as their teacher librarian. Some may not realize that she is a published author of several young adult novels – as a student, I would have been so excited to learn that my librarian was also an author! What a great resource and role model for students she is!
Another Teacher Librarian Program candidate, Stephanie Macecca, the teacher librarian at Valhalla High School, joined us during my visit to Monte Vista HS. Though I was not able to visit her library during this trip, I was pleased to hear how she is providing ongoing professional development in instructional technology to her staff and successfully served as the self-study coordinator for her site’s WASC accreditation (having also served in this position, I can attest that this is a job all by itself!).
It is exciting to see how two Teacher Librarian Program candidates are putting into practice what they’ve learned through their coursework! Both Laura and Stephanie are multi-talented individuals, yet they’re not alone – many other teacher librarians both in our program and throughout the state are also providing exceptional services to their school sites. I look forward to visiting more of them and sharing their accomplishments with you.