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AUSD board welcomes new librarian

Posted: Friday, Apr 11th, 2014

New AUSD librarian Kris Bell attended a school board meeting in Creston Tuesday and brought along this collection of outdated books recently pulled from the shelves of local school libraries.

CRESTON — A great deal of progress has been made this school year toward modernizing Atascadero’s school libraries, mostly thanks to the efforts of new school librarian Kris Bell.

Atascadero Unified School District Assistant Superintendent Kathy Hannemann introduced Bell to the district board of trustees at meeting held Tuesday at the Creston Elementary School cafeteria.

“We have a real visionary with Kris,” Hannemann said. “Many people will say that libraries have very little use today because of the technology age, but Kris is here to prove you wrong.”

Bell has a Bachelor’s degree in English and secondary education and a Master’s degree in Library Science with a school media certification and has more than 20 years of work experience.

“I’ve driven a bookmobile, I’ve been a school librarian, I’ve been a children’s librarian in a public library and I’ve traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to scan photographs at the United Nations in the library there,” Bell said. “I really feel like these experiences have shaped my philosophy — I believe that a library doesn’t exist just between four walls, a library is our whole world.”

Bell stressed the importance of information literacy in the technology age — the ability to pose real questions, find real answers, interpret the information and put them to use.

“In this world we do need to be information literate,” she said. “We do need to know how to ask questions and think critically about the information we find to answer those questions. I believe that the school librarian is crucial to teaching the children and the teachers theses skills.”

Bell says these skills are even more important with the implementation of the Common Core Standards being implemented this year, which often require students to think critically and research information. Bell pointed out that the term ‘non-fiction’ appears 64 times in the Common Core Standards, the word ‘research’ appears 132 times, ‘information’ appears 244 times and ‘reading’ appears 283 times.

“There is now more than ever no denial that certified school librarians and specially trained library staff are critical in our schools to help students get the best information and be successful in the Common Core,” she said.

For the complete article see the 04-11-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-11-2014 paper.

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