I started as the library media specialist at Padua Academy in August of 2016. I was in charge of all aspects of the Learning Commons, which served over 450 students and approximately 70 staff members. As the sole employee in the library, I managed all areas, from collection building and maintenance to reference services to marketing and everything in between. As an educator, I created lessons to teach students how to use databases, create correct citations, search more effectively, evaluate news sources, and more. I assisted students with finding both print and online scholarly sources as well as creating a citation list in APA, Chicago, or MLA style--whichever was required by the teacher.
I also planned events to increase the usage of the library's resources. Some of my planned events included reading challenges, book talks, school-wide voting on favorite book characters, Teen Read Week activities, a scavenger hunt, book tastings, book trailer watch parties, and more. See here for posters I created to advertise these events.
I oversaw the Student Library Advisory Board, which was a group of students who shared a common interest in reading. We met monthly to discuss books and also conduct charity work. Each December, the group coordinated a book drive. In December 2019, we donated 847 books to the Tiny Steps Program at Saint Francis Hospital.
I interacted with the faculty daily to reserve the Learning Commons space for class visits, develop lessons to match their learning objectives, and stock the shelves with books that meet the needs of their projects. Students also came to the Learning Commons every day, whether it was to study, work on a group project, conduct research, or ask me for help finding a book.
In the summer of 2017, I redesigned the Learning Common's website. It went from being a single page of links to having multiple pages dedicated to citation styles, class projects, source evaluation, events, and more. It became much more visually appealing and useful to students.
I regularly updated the Learning Commons with new displays and information. Each day I highlighted a Saint of the Day to promote Padua's Catholic identity and each week I chose an Author of the Week--both of these selections were shared on the Learning Common's website. I also updated physical displays around themes or seasonal events. See here for some of my displays.
For several years, I managed the student work/study program in the library. Seniors worked at the library desk before and after school. I was responsible for training these students and signing their timesheets. This was one of the first programs of its kind within the school.
Another one of my accomplishments was reconfiguring the summer reading program. Previously, students read only within their English class. I was tasked with creating a Summer Reading Committee of interested teachers and updating the program. Due to our work, there is now a school-wide selection. Rather than taking a multiple-choice test, students have the opportunity to discuss their thoughts with classmates. The selected titles are young adult novels instead of classics and tackle contemporary issues. Both students and staff alike have been very happy with this change and the opportunity for discussion it provides. In the summer of 2019, students read Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson and joined a member of the Summer Reading Committee for a live discussion on Google Meet.
I left Padua Academy in August 2021 for a new opportunity.