As school librarians, we know that literacy has the power to transform lives because we see that power realized every day in our students. We know it because that power informs our practice, our professional standards, and—as the articles in this issue of Knowledge Quest show—our careers.
This might seem like an obvious point, but we think it captures some of the deeper truths of our profession: reading and literacy more broadly speaking give people the power to take informed action to improve their lives, and the self-awareness and empathy we need to positively engage with the people around us (see The Reading Agency’s “Literature Review: Impact of Reading for Pleasure and Empowerment” if you’re interested in learning more about the research that backs up this claim). If that’s true for everyone else, why shouldn’t it be even more so for professional school librarians? But don’t take our word for it, just look at the articles in this month’s issue of KQ to see the power that literacy has to shape our journeys as school librarians!
All of our authors share certain traits—whether it’s Ann Morgester’s transition from a building-level school librarian to district supervisor, or Carmen Redding’s to a state-level position; Chiquita Toure’s move from an elementary to a high school library, or Erikka Adams’s from a public to a private school library; Karla Collins and Jen Spisak’s passage from school librarians to educators of school librarians, or Hilda Weisburg’s wide-ranging career. They all share a strong sense of professional identity, a commitment to lifelong learning, and colleagues that they trust and rely on for advice and support—all things that help us adapt to change, and all things powerfully impacted by a passion for literacy. So dig in, read deeply, enrich your life, and—who knows?—you might just be preparing for the next great opportunity coming your way!
About the Guest Editors
Paige Bredenkamp is a former English teacher and K-8 librarian. She now works with school librarians throughout Wyoming as the school library consultant at Wyoming State Library. She is a member of AASL.
Rob Hilliker is the director of the Edsel Ford Memorial Library at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He is a member of AASL and serves on the AASL Leadership Development Committee and the Knowledge Quest Editorial Board and serves as chair of the National School Library of the Year Subcommittee.
Read their Guest Editor Column, “Ch-ch-ch-changes: Evolution of a School Librarian.”
Living the Life I Love
They Let Us Teach Adults? Making the Leap from Pre-K-12 to Higher Education
Karla B. Collins and Jen R. Spisak
Transforming My Perspective
My Transition from an Elementary to a High School Library: Building a Better School Library Model
Achieving Balance: Moving from School Librarianship to State-Level Specialist
Professional Growth & Expanding My Horizons: Transitioning to an Independent School
School Librarianship: A Profession in Four Acts
Aaron Elkins, Len Bryan, Renee Dyer, and Mary Nevares
Beyond the Research Project: Inquiry Every Day and Every Way
John Marino and Mike Eisenberg
Science Nonfiction: A Gateway to the Outdoors
Learner-Ready School Librarians’ Journey through Transition
Kathryn Roots Lewis
Guest Editor Column
Ch-ch-ch-changes: Evolution of a School Librarian
Paige Bredenkamp and Robert Hilliker
Author: Robert Hilliker
Categories: KQ Content