As the school year ends, many librarians around the country are retiring. These librarians are building leaders and mentors that impact the school culture and student learning. They have seen many, many changes and have adapted in various ways to the ever-changing role of the librarian.
Ronda Hassig is an example of a librarian that continued to adapt and expand her role in her building and district. She was and is a great mentor and friend. This year, she is retiring from Blue Valley School District after many years in education and more than 26 years as a librarian. Ronda began in 1992 when we still used the Reader’s Guide to find current articles and note taking was done with paper note cards.
Throughout the years, she embraced new ideas, utilized technology to the fullest, and, importantly, continued to refine her instructional role based on the needs of her students. Ronda pushed herself to be better by becoming National Board Certified. She was named Master Teacher and was awarded the ALA’s 2008 National Sara Jaffarian Humanitarian Award and Highsmith Collaborative School Library Media Award.
Ronda is an example of the many librarians who go beyond the walls of their buildings and impact the profession by mentoring others. As a first year librarian, Ronda traveled with me to an AASL conference. We spent time discussing our learning, and she shared how she was going to implement these ideas in her building. I think this conference had such an impact because of our conversations.
Ronda continued to share her ideas and discuss overcoming obstacles when change occurred. She modeled the advice she gave and never asked for anything in return. And she cheered all of us on when great things happened.
I am grateful for librarians like Ronda Hassig. They make our profession better and their legacy continues through us when they leave the profession. As this year of retirees move on, how can we mentor other librarians and positively impact our profession?