Joan Ackroyd, Librarian, Monticello High School
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging aspect of my job is providing equity of access for all students. We have a very diverse student population and this diversity is manifested economically as well. While many of our students bring their own devices to school, we have far too many students whose families cannot afford the luxury of mobile technology or even Internet access at home. Until we can become a 1:1 school for all grades, an almost daily challenge is either working late to give students computer access after school or loaning out used laptops for students to successfully work on projects at home.
What’s the most common misconception about your job?
The most common misconception is that librarians sit around and read books all day long. If only! The popularity of our Library Learning Commons translates into spending every minute helping students (and teachers) with research, book selection and Maker activities. Reading has to wait until the end of the day, just before I go to sleep.
What outside experience prepared you best for your position?
It may seem strange, but the outside experience that prepared me best for my job is being a mom. My own children have taught me patience, kindness and how much fun learning can be. Having a teen-aged son clued me into the music kids are listening to and also what activities would be successful with today’s teens. Watching my own children rise to the challenge of juggling their academic and personal lives has influenced me to work especially hard to provide students with any support they may need.