Sunday, April 9, 2017

Marla Streit, Librarian at Granbery Elementary

Get to know me!

1. My family includes my husband, Gary, who has worked in higher education most of his career. However, he is currently serving in a part-time position in our local church. Our daughter, Emily, and her family—her husband, Corey, and our three grandchildren, Master (16), Molly (9), and Myles (7) – live in Murfreesboro.

2. I don’t think I have a secret talent, and I’m not sure if I have an obvious talent, but I like to do many things – like baking, playing games of all kinds, traveling to different places in the world. No real talents! I do like to sing…in a choir!

3. My husband and I enjoy walking at Centennial Park, especially the newer area. If I were to choose a favorite place to eat, I would choose Bricktop’s or J Alexander’s or Arnold’s or Dandgure’s or…well, you get the idea…I like to eat!!!

4. I guess the one stereotype depicting the librarian as “shushing” everyone is the one I would like to eliminate. I often forget that the library is to be a quieter place because it often isn’t. :)

5. I used to read a lot of young adult literature when I served for 14 years at an upper grade center (that’s what middle schools were called in Illinois), and my favorite author was Irene Hunt (an Illinois author).  I loved her book, Up a Road Slowly, and I count this author and that book among my top ten favorites.

6. I have a hard time selecting just one character that I identify with; there are so many. I like Julia in the book I just referred to, Up a Road Slowly, because of her devotion to her Aunt Cordelia. I identify with Meg Murry in A Wrinkle in Time because of her courage and tenacity in finding her father in space and time and defending her brother, Charles Wallace, when others teased him. I identify with Sarah in Sarah, Plain and Tall, for her willingness to leave a very special place by the sea to move to a place so different and to a life quite different. There are many more characters that I love and have learned from, and I hope to meet many more in special books in the future.

7. To be truthful, I wanted an option to teaching in the classroom, and I had always experienced such peace and joy when I visited the library. Of course, I love to read, and I love to share what I read with children, so it made sense to become a librarian! Since I earned the MLS, I have had the pleasure to serve in multiple school settings as a librarian – P-3, K-4, K-8, and 6-8! All have been great experiences!

8. I have had the privilege of traveling to four continents, and I look forward to adding the rest to my resume. I guess the most exotic place I’ve visited is Hong Kong, and it would be fun to revisit that lovely place again. My husband and I traveled to Brazil several years ago, and the highlight of the trip was driving to Rio de Janeiro while there. I would love to travel to Australia and New Zealand. I’ve read several books that were set in these countries, and I would love to see firsthand this “new” land!

9. I think life is better with many fascinating books available for me to read on the beach with my husband!!! What a treat!

Get to know my library!

1. Some of my students’ favorite library resources are Pebble Go and Pebble Go Next, BookFlix, IXL, Culture Grams, and Starfall! There are others, of course, but these are their “Go to” places!

2. I am happiest when my library is bustling with activity! Our computer lab sits among the books in the library, and I teach in the specials rotation on Tuesday and Thursday. After getting my students settled in on the computers, I am still able to assist students with reading needs! It’s almost ideal! I love it also that our media center is situated in the center of our building, and I like to say that we are the heart of the school! :)

3. I love to collaborate with teachers, and I find that, once I plan a lesson with one teacher in a grade level, I often get to teach that same lesson to the other classes in that same grade. I send emails, talk to folks in the hallway (collaborate on the run), and reach out to others via trips to classrooms. I will admit that this year is different from the first two here at Granbery. My schedule was much more open before I was asked to teach in the rotation. Even so, I still get to prepare lessons on a regular basis. Our kindergarten classes come to the library for storytime every week, and those lessons are fixed in the schedule.

4. I would love to have an updated computer lab with the same computer configuration for every student. At this time, we have ten desktops and 15 laptops. This may be the year that this wish is fulfilled! :)

5. This one’s easy!!! I love our students! They are wonderful library users, and many of our fourth graders request books from Limitless Libraries on a regular basis. I love to see them excited about reading, and, at Granbery, most take AR tests. Right now, our school point total is 31,188.1 points and our total word count is 153,186,948. 

6. The library is busiest in the morning, especially after students are dismissed to go to their classrooms. They hang up their backpacks and immediately head to the library. We are checking out and checking in books all day long, but we do it triple time during the first hour of the day! It’s very rewarding!!!

7. The library is quietest after students leave for the day or during the half hour when my library clerk, Barbara Moses, and I sit down to eat lunch. Students are waiting at the library door to come back in at the conclusion of that half hour! :)

8. I think every library needs an excellent library clerk like Mrs. Moses. She is busy all day long working with our volunteers, checking in and out materials, and spending quality time with our students! We love her at Granbery!

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