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I recently attended the Fall New York City School Library System Conference at Citifield. We were fortunate to hear from Barbara Stripling, former president of A.L.A. One of the most powerful things she told us was to lead from the middle. “You are more powerful than the principal and your colleagues.”
It is so encouraging to remember how important we are as librarians. I also heard Dr. David Loertscher, creator of the School Learning Commons website. As librarians, we have to make it happen. The whole world shifted with the creation of google. It is our job to bridge the gap, collaborate with teachers and help them create and empower our learning communities.
Finally, we were so lucky to hear Sharon Draper, winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, five time National Teacher of the Year Award and author of Tears of a Tiger, Out of My Mind, and many other books for teens. She told us “don’t just tell me about your story, write the book.” She reminded us of the need for diverse books and how there could never be enough books for the diverse student body around the country. Her advice to new librarians: “read 100 books, then read another 100 books, so you are always ready to find the perfect book for the child who says ‘I don’t read books’.”