At the heart of Plano, you’ll find unsung citizens doing extraordinary things. In honor of National Library Week April 10-16, we spoke with Christine Lynd, Clark High School’s media specialist, about her role as school librarian in a digital age.
Christine, what does your job entail?
I check out books and order books, but I also teach students about research methods and databases. I am also collaborating with the English team on a Google Classroom, an online space where we can post assignments and discussion topics.
How do you support the teachers?
A big part of my job is researching different education technologies, apps, things like that. Teachers can use me as a sounding board or I can collaborate with them. I’m on the technology team and the leadership team.
By high school, is it too late to teach students to love reading?
I did a book talk just for the kids that struggle with reading and writing. I selected books that I thought would be of high interest. Two of the girls from the class came back to the library. They loved their books so much that they finished them and wanted to trade books with each other. I don’t think it’s ever too late for anyone.
What are your goals here at Clark?
I want to continue to make this a space that students want to be in; I treat it more like a learning commons. Sometimes during study hall and lunch, they just come here to relax. I’ve worked hard to transform the look of the library, to “teen” it up. I’ve got café tables, movie posters and games. That’s a big goal, to keep their enthusiasm for the library going.
Recently you got a grant for a makerspace. What can the students do there?
We were able to purchase littleBits, which are magnetic electronic modules. I’ll put the materials out with simple instructions and leave the kids to it. It’s neat to see where they take it. We will also be getting a 3D printer soon and a green screen and the software for it.
How is the library different than when you were in school?
It’s a very social space. When I went to school, it was all business–it was even kind of intimidating. Now, the kids know they can ask me or my aide to help them.
What’s in the future for school libraries?
I foresee the nonfiction section shrinking as far as the books go, but growing as far as what kids can access digitally. We also offer fiction in a digital format, but when you’re reading for pleasure, you need to have that feel, that smell, that touch of a book. I don’t foresee this space ever going away. It’s a place where kids can work together, where they can be guided and build relationships. It’s the heart of the school.