School libraries...Veronica Dougherty
are for everyone in the school. They are at the heart of schools’ missions.
I believe that school librarians are perpetual learners, welcoming change, new strategies, and new ways that strengthen our programming while keeping our love for our students and literacy at the core. It’s our job to evaluate our collection and weed books that don’t serve our students and curriculum, and it’s also our job to weed methods and mindsets that do not serve our students. Veronica radiates these qualities! A former high school English teacher and instructional coach, Veronica is in her first year as a school librarian! She recently moved to the Nashville area from New Jersey, and I am so happy to have her in my neck of the woods! I first met Veronica through Project LIT chats on Twitter. Her enthusiasm for sharing the love of reading is contagious, and if you follow her online, you’ll see that she is constantly learning and trying new things, and having a ton of fun along the way. Veronica shatters the librarian stereotype, and seeing her enthusiasm and passion for her students, puts a smile on my face because she is a bright spot in her school community and in our profession. Meet Veronica!
How long have you been a librarian?
This is my first year as a full-fledged librarian. I have had the certificate for 8 years.
What do you enjoy most about being a librarian?
Sharing book and author excitement with students.
What is an activity, event, or lesson you enjoy doing with students?
Project LIT Book club is the best. It’s especially fun during lunch bunch. I love a full library.
How do you partner with or collaborate with faculty?
While I send newsletters and updates on the library, the best way to collaborate with faculty is through face to face conversation. I appreciate their willingness to try new lesson ideas in the library.
What challenges do you regularly face and how do you overcome them or handle them?
Sometimes the greatest challenge is the closing of the library, especially during testing. The library can accommodate several groups at a time, but when testing in a quiet space is required, then lunch bunch and makerspace take a backseat. It is what it is. I am looking at providing library on wheels when the space is otherwise occupied.
How has your job changed over the years?
I was only in the library one block a day or after school prior to my current position. In general, more space for collaboration between students is taking precedence over stuffed shelves.
Why do you enjoy being a teacher/ librarian?
I love kids and I love books. Creating is also a big part of the library. It matters that everyone has a safe space to explore, individually and together. It doesn’t feel like a job.
What advice do you have to share with librarians?
Ask students. They are number one users of the library. It is their voice and choice that matters.
What inspires you and helps challenge you to grow professionally?
I am thankful for a strong PLN on Twitter. Professional organizations provide many resources, but the relationships with other librarians, online and face-to-face, that inspire me to a better librarian each and every day.
Veronica is totally rocking her first year as a librarian! Thank you, Veronica, for answering my questions! You can connect with her on Twitter: @VtheLearner and Instagram: VBDougherty.