Diane Chen, Librarian at Stratford High STEM
Get to know me!
1. My four sons are all grown and out of the house, so now I share a house with my best friend and travel buddy Debbie. I have a new grandbaby and a step-granddaughter who loves to get books in the mail from me. My dog Benji is the love of my life right now.
2. My secret talent is crochet. I love yarn art work and three dimensional projects like the afghan I made with a chess board and all the pieces.
3. My favorite local Nashville spot is McNamara’s Irish Pub & Restaurant. You can listen to live music nightly and everyone there loves to tell a good tale. No one minds when you hold an impromptu book club either.
4. If you could eliminate 1 librarian stereotype it would be the idea that we sit around behind a desk. We are so busy at Stratford that I don’t bother to sit down at all. I didn’t even notice when the students borrowed the chair behind my desk for three days.
5. My favorite book or author is Tamora Pierce. I love fantasy and her Beka Cooper series and the Circle of Magic series.
6. The literary character I most identify with is a composite of all mystery solving female detectives including Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Kay Scarpetta among others. I have a cynicism of romance and love of forensic science to solve crimes.
7. I decided to become a school librarian because one classroom does not present enough of a challenge. I love computers, technology, and connecting students with learning through reading and experiences so the library is a natural outlet. The library is such a creative place that I can incorporate my love of languages including Mandarin Chinese, German, Spanish, and sign language into storytelling and instruction.
8. I would love to travel to Africa, South America, and the Middle East. I’ve been to Asia and Europe (Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Italy, Monaco, France, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Mexico, and Canada). I travel whenever I have the opportunity including the summer Debbie and I visited 13 national parks.
10. I think life is better with a dog beside you. Dogs appreciate your presence and I love to curl up with my Benji and read a good book. Everyone should rescue a dog! It changes your life.
Get to know my library!
1. Some of my student's favorite library resources are our color printer and the supplies in the maker space for their presentations. We focus a great deal on Communicating and Creating whether it’s the posters, . We added some stickers to books and the most popular categories are Romance and Horror.
2. I am happiest when my library is bursting with students from all grades 5-12, working, reading, and sharing with each other.
3. One way I collaborate with teachers is by meeting them in their rooms, hallways, and at events. It’s important to be out of the library and in their spaces because the library goes beyond our four walls. Digitally I am always connecting with teachers via text and social media.
4. I would love to have more space – we are always full of students and have to balance both high school and middle school schedules. Students are always asking us for more books, more computers, and more movies. We have students sitting outside on the balcony space.
5. The thing I love most about my library is it’s a comfortable place for everyone to come in, sit down, read, and work on technology. We constantly rearrange the furniture to accommodate many small groups. Even faculty members pop in just to sit down and read.
6. My library is busiest when both campuses are synced between 9-2. We open at 6:30am and stay open til 4:15. Two nights a week I am here for tutoring til six. We never seem to be empty – even on weekends.
7. My library is quietest when it’s late at night. I finally experienced a quiet moment at 8:30pm one night. Once!
8. I think every library needs flexibility in schedules, furniture, technology and instruction.