Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Our librarians have been busy kicking off the start of the new school year. Be sure to follow @mnpslibraries and our amazing librarians to keep up with all of our happenings!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Meet new to MNPS, Librarian Rai Neely

    Let's get to know Rai Neely, new librarian at Gower Elementary!

     Tell us about your family/pets:
    I have two wonderful kids.   Jeffrey is 19 and will be a sophomore at APSU.  Emma is 17 and is a Senior at Nashville Christian School.  My husband is a Captain on the Nashville Fire Department. We live in White Bluff with 4 dogs, 2 frogs, 2 hermit crabs, and a fish. 

Tell us about your professional background:
    This will be my 24th year of teaching and my 13th at Gower.  I have been teaching second grade for the last 4 years and kindergarten for 8 years before that.  Prior to teaching at Gower, I was at Pegram Elementary School in Cheatham County for 12 years.  I taught 3rd, 1st, and spend the last 5 years as Library/Media Specialist.

Why did you become a librarian?
5        I became a librarian because I love to get kids excited about books, authors, reading, and writing.

       What's your favorite book?
         It is soooooo very hard to pick just one favorite book, but if I have to, I guess I would choose The Book Thief for upper grades and Where the Wild Things Are for lower grades.

      MNPS LOVES our librarians- tell us why you are thrilled to be part of our team.
7       am absolutely thrilled to be part of the MNPS library team because I have witnessed some great things going on in other libraries around Nashville and would like to bring them to Gower to help reignite our library program.

8  What are you most excited about implementing at your school?
            One of my biggest goals is to get classes into the library more for library and research lessons.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Meet new to MNPS, Librarian Gretchen Good

Hi, my name is Gretchen Good and I am proud to be joining the Napier Elementary School Team.

I moved from San Francisco to Nashville two years ago with my husband, young daughter, and probably far too many animals to be packed in a car legally.  My daughter, Julia, is now four and loves drawing, dancing and ‘making jokes.’ My husband, Pat, also a librarian, loves Nashville, music, social activism and is a DJ at Nashville’s newest radio station WXNA 101.5.  Since our move the cast of pets has changed: our lively home is now filled with the sounds of a yapping wee Yorkie (Griffy) and two chirping cockatiels (Loopy and Percy), both of which surprisingly compliment the clarinet ‘stylings’ of Julia and Pat.

Both my husband and I had fifteen-year careers in libraries and archives in San Francisco.  Libraries are a shared love that brought us together.  My prior career was as an administrative librarian for an arts university library and as an art and music subject specialist librarian for San Francisco Public Library.  Between these two jobs, I had the honor of working side-by-side with experts in such diverse fields as silent film, Vietnamese rock music, 20th Century dance, computer animation as well as with talented guest authors from the Children, Teen and Adult Urban Fiction genres.  My passion for libraries extends well beyond these subject interests.  I came to library work simply from a love of books, culture, community and the desire to make non-commercial, socially-relevant resources available to all who seek them.

My favorite book is always changing.  At one point it was Anne of Green Gables, then Old Yeller, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.  At this point in my life I find it is easiest to say my favorite book is the last book I read, which as of last night happens to be Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo.  When pushed for an all-time favorite however I’ll go with The Little Prince if for no other reason than this illustration still makes me laugh:

I am thrilled to be a part of MNPS Team because, as I make a mid-life career transition from public libraries to the school libraries, I value centralized support, guidance and connection to other expert school librarians.  I am especially excited to work at Napier Elementary and want my school have the best library/media specialist program possible.  To this end, I plan to mine the district and actively engage the MNPS Team for innovative practices for my school.  At Napier, I hope we may implement a ‘book buddy’ program in which third and fourth graders serve as reading mentors to first and second graders.  Additionally, I am interested in creating kindergartner book kits so each Monday, every K student could take home a kit of seven pre-selected books for a week’s worth of family-fun reading.  Ultimately, my professional goal is to foster a community of readers and information seekers among students, teachers and parents.  I look forward to all idea-sharing and team building that will facilitate this goal.

Thank you MNPS and Napier Elementary for welcoming me to your teams.  We are going to have an exciting year. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Meet new to MNPS, Librarian Ginger Kirchmyer

Let's get to know Ginger Kirchmyer, new librarian at Hunters Lane High!
Tell us about your family/pets:
           I have 2 grown children (son Davison is 24 and daughter Kameri is 27). I have one grandson; his name is Shepard, and he is 18 mo. old; I have a grandbaby on the way, due March 5th. My best bud is my English Bulldog Achilles. He's 5, and we go everywhere together.

Tell us your professional background:

        I'm a National Board Certified Teacher ELA/AYA; I have 18 years of classroom experience teaching English and as a Literacy Coach. I received my MLIS in 2014, and I have been a school librarian for 4 years. I LOVE being a librarian. My favorite part of the job is utilizing technology and helping others to do that. 

Why did you become a librarian? 
         I became extremely disenchanted with Education and decided I needed to try to do something that made a bigger impact than just working within the classroom. I have a big heart for teachers, and I want to do what I can to support them. I feel like they have so many expectations and so little support as they work to improve the future of our students.

What’s your favorite Book? 
      Voices in the Wind trilogy by Francine Rivers

MNPS LOVES our librarians- tell us why you are thrilled to be a part of our team? 
     The MNPS librarians are so friendly and helpful. I love that you have such an impressive system in place. I already feel like I have so much support. And the partnership with Nashville Public Libraries is amazing. So many opportunities for PD and professional support. This was a smart move! 
What are you most excited about implementing at your school?
 The new website! It's going to help teachers and students quickly and effectively find info they need to complete their academic goals
Bonus picture of Achilles (and Ginger!)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Meet new to MNPS, Librarian, Stacey Vandrasik

Let's get to know Stacey Vandrasik, new librarian at Whitsitt Elementary!

1. Tell us about your family/ pets:

    I live in Kingston Springs with my husband of 19 years and our three children, Carter (13), Parker (12), and our surprise baby Geneva (10 months). We also have a dog named Missy Sue.

2. Tell us about your professional background:

      I worked for 14 years in graphic design before going back to school to get my MLIS. This will be my 6th year as a school librarian, but it will be my first year as an elementary librarian.

3. Why did you become a librarian?

      I became a librarian ,because it combined my love of art with my love of reading and working with children.

4. What's your favorite book?

       I am horrible at answering any "favorite" questions. I can't tell you my favorite food or my favorite restaurant or movie. I think maybe it feels to confining to pick just one. I will say though that I have one book that I will always remember as a very powerful experience for me. I remember reading Lord of the Flies and being challenged mentally about the role we each play in society and our need for rules and order within society.

5. MNPS LOVES our librarians- tell us why you are thrilled to be a part of our team?

      I am excited to join team MNPS to expand my experiences culturally and professionally.

6. What are you most excited about implementing at your school?
    We have a very large turn over at Whitsitt this year, and I would love to take this opportunity to make the library as useful and helpful to all the new teachers as possible. Together we can plan what works best for everyone.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Meet New to MNPS, Librarian, Angel Sloss

Let's get to know Angel Sloss, new librarian at Jere Baxter!

  1.  Tell us about your family/pets:

             I have a bright eyed, bubbly 9-year-old daughter and currently no pets.

2.     Tell us your professional background: 

           I worked for the Public Library- Downtown for 4 years as a Circulation Assistant II; from there, I spent 4 years as an Academic Librarian for Strayer University and as a Volunteer Technical Services Librarian at Fisk University.

3.     Why did you become a librarian?  

          While working at the Public Library, my manager suggested that I would be a great librarian. Friends and family also kept saying that I should consider it as a career. I was totally against it, as a kid I was always called the “librarian” or I looked like a “teacher”. So one day, I gave in and figured I would get a degree in library science and I never looked back. Afterwards, everything in my life made sense and it was something that I was really good at; I quickly realized it was my calling. Now I love being called “the librarian” or people referring to me as a teacher; it’s a totally cool thing!

4.     What’s your favorite Book?

         Fences by August Wilson. 

5.     MNPS LOVES our librarians- tell us why you are thrilled to be a part of our team? 

         I am thrilled because I grew up in Nashville. I love my community; I want to join something innovative. I want to be a part of something that makes learning fun. I want to help our community become better achievers and readers, something that I see being accomplished by the MNPS Librarians!

6.     What are you most excited about implementing at your school?
       I’m excited about implementing a spatial design that appeals to the Jere Baxter Students, Literacy Programs, Service Learning through Digital Literacy, International Game Day and so much more!