Spotlight on New Staff

Meet Village Librarian, Ms. Bev

In January, Village School welcomed Ms. Bev as our official school librarian. Of course, she’s been doing the job as a volunteer parent for years now, but with her son, Eli, graduating last year, and our need for critical library resources during these difficult times, we decided it was time to make the title official. Introducing Ms. Bev…
 

A Bit About Me

I started working in the Village School library when my son Eli entered kindergarten way back in 2014. At that time our little library was, let’s just say, a bit rough around the edges. New books hadn’t been acquired in several years and the space was not very inviting or accessible for all of our readers.
 

As a library team member I asked the then committee chair A LOT of questions. Can we move the furniture around? Can we buy some new books and titles that kids are motivated to read? Can we use the read alouds differently for the upper and lower grades? Can we beef up our graphic novel selection? Can we beef up the emerging reader selection? What if we added a reading corner? Can we do more with the bulletin boards? Is there another place we can store all the tables, chairs, and materials that are sitting around everywhere but are rarely, if ever used? Why are we the only school in the district without a staff librarian?…
 

Thankfully she was awesome, like-minded about the importance of a vibrant school library, open to all my questions, and onboard with all the changes I wanted to enact! Eventually I took over as committee chair, and we’ve been in continuous improvement mode ever since. Our library team is made up of a fabulous group of book-loving parents, all dedicated to growing life-long, passionate readers. Our collection has evolved to reflect contemporary children’s literature and culture, including own voices and diverse stories. Our space has become a welcoming haven for reading and readers, that even the SCCL librarians find to be charming and inspiring. (True story, I’ve never been more proud!) And with everything 2020 threw at us, our outreach has adapted to this new world of distance learning and just kept going.
 

As for that last question–the one about our school being the only one in the district without a staff librarian–well as of 2021, I am now the official Library/Media Specialist for Village School! The committee and I will continue on with all of our endeavors in service of nurturing our readers and the reading culture that has blossomed so beautifully at Village. We love books and we love your kids!
 

You can follow @thevillagelibrarian on Instagram.
 

Please note that this is my personal account. It is not associated with the school or the district, despite the handle. I chose the identity back in 2017. It was based on the double entendre of functioning as the de facto school librarian for so many years as well as the age old concept of a person playing a role for an entire community, such as “the village doctor” or “the village blacksmith”. I have been known to talk to all sorts of random people at the public library and local bookshops to share recommendations and get kids excited about reading. (Ok, true confession, this happens just about every time I go and everywhere I travel. I just can’t help myself!) Anything shared or expressed on my IG account is my personal opinion and mine alone. I love children’s books and reading so much that a majority of what I post is based on what I’m excited about in the world of kid lit or what I’m reading in that arena.
 

To follow the Village Library’s posts, which are intended for sharing information about books and reading privately within our school community, look for @village_reads on Instagram.
 

A Bit of Q&A

What are your interests outside of Village School?
Over the past year I’ve become somewhat obsessed with houseplants. Being inside for so long made me feel the need for more outside inside our home. Now when I go to the Trader Joe’s for groceries I’m super proud of myself when I don’t come home with a plant (or two)! It got to a point where you could almost not walk out our back door because there are so many plants in the way.
 

What are some things you and your family like to do for fun?
We do a lot of traveling and trips with Michael’s family. Since the pandemic we haven’t had too many chances to do so but we’re hoping soon we’ll be able to rent a big house and all gather together. When we do vacation as a clan we play lots of board games, cook big meals together, tell jokes, get in and on the water, and of course, read!
 
We also play with all the family bulldogs, which we’re hoping soon will include one of our very own as we’re in the process of adopting an English bulldog rescue.
 

What is your professional background?
Before we moved to CA in 2012 I had worked for 17+ years in marketing and advertising doing work for big brands like Febreze, Swiffer, Gillette and others. In my last job I created strategies for reaching people where they shop. It turned out that translated surprisingly well to how students use a library and choose books. I also have an MBA degree that I earned through an international university consortium. Living in Europe among classmates from all over the globe was one of the best experiences of my life and is a big part of why I’m so passionate about inclusion, diversity, and culture.
 

What do you enjoy about being a librarian/ being at school/ working with children?
I follow a lot of authors, illustrators, publishers, and agents, and largely because of my advertising background I enjoy the creative side of children’s literature. The same skills I used for years to spot trends, guide and shape creative work, and make connections allows me to sense what’s up and coming in the world of kid lit.
 
My real passion, though, is being with the kids. Reading aloud is totally my jam. I just give myself over to the book and go all in. Picture book. Chapter book. Silly book. Touching book. Eye-opening book. They’re all awesome in my book. The reward in seeing eyes and hearts light up with excitement and connection over a good book is priceless.

 

Ms. Bev with husband, Michael, and son, Eli

Ms. Bev’s son and Village alum, Eli

 
 


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