Thursday, April 12, 2012

Where are you now, Julie Julian?

Today is our fourth in a series of five stories about HIU alumni who now work in libraries in celebration of National Libray Week 2012. Julie Julian (BA, Psychology, 1993) is an elementary school librarian at a K-8 charter school in Colorado Springs. She "kinda fell into this position" at her sons' school with no formal library training. She has "taught herself how to do it" and is still teaching herself every day. This is her 4th year, so she thinks she finally has "a groove of sorts."

After being a stay at home mom or working part time for many years, our family found ourselves in a position where I needed to find a full time job. My sons were both attending a new charter school and I had been very involved there. I thought if I had to return to work it would be great to work at their school. I sent my résumé to the Executive Director of the school and a few weeks later I received a phone call for an interview. It was just a general interview with no specific position in mind at the time. Then a few days later I was asked back for another interview. In this interview, I was offered the position of Librarian. Like I said, I am not a trained librarian and honestly, I like kids more than I do books. Because I tend to be overly organized and I had taught before, I figured it was worth a try, especially since both my sons would be at the school.

Currently, our school has two libraries (elementary and Middle School). I am physically at the elementary library every day and oversee the Middle School library that is run by parent volunteers. I see all 450 elementary students each week in the library and I also teach a basic technology class for the K-5th grade. I am the school administrator for a program called Accelerated Reader and oversee/administer reading (and Math) tests to all the students three times a year. I am part of the rotation of our "specials" classes that include art, music and PE. I am a busy lady.

The most satisfying thing about my job is that I am in a position to come along side teachers and provide resources, book suggestions and literacy data for their students. The second best part of my job is knowing every student at my school and being able to give book suggestions, watch their reading skills grow and give character building advice every day.

Trivia: We got Julie's story this week only because she and I share a mutual friend on Facebook. Thanks to Professor Kelly Dagley for hooking us up!

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