Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2007

Teacher switches to library, Lansing

Karen Averill in first year as librarian at Lansing Middle School

October 4, 2007

Her husband has been teaching in the Lansing school district for 25 years, so it only made sense when Karen Averill decided it was her turn to join the Lion pack.

Averill is a new librarian at Lansing Middle School this year. Her husband, Ron Averill is the longtime wrestling coach at Lansing High School and teachers explorations in technology at LMS.

After years as a vocal teacher with Leavenworth West Middle School and Patton Junior High School, Karen Averill is looking forward to the change of pace.

The jump from music to library media may seem like an odd switch for many, but Karen Averill said teaching for her, no matter the subject, is about helping young students become lifelong learners.

Karen Averill received her bachelor's degree in music education from Kansas University, and last August she finished her master's degree in library media from Emporia.

She said she's always loved reading and thought library media was a good next step for her to pass along her passion for books. There isn't one book in particular, however, that Karen Averill said she could call her favorite because so many different books have impacted her at different times in her life.

She chose to take that knowledge of literature to a school instead of a public library because student learning is her top priority.

So far the school year has started off great she said. She's gotten friendly and helpful greetings from teachers and a sense of enthusiasm to read from the students.

One of Karen Averill's goals at Lansing is to collaborate with teachers to provide students with all the resources that could help them further their learning in the classroom. She said all of the literature classes have scheduled times to visit the library, and other classes schedule time when they are working on research papers.

No matter the subject a student is interested in, Karen Averill said she is a "teaching librarian" that will do what she can to further a student's information literacy. She said students need to learn to search for information through several outlets including the library's card catalog, the Internet and online databases.

She said people should never stop learning, and having the skills to retrieve information through different sources will help in the future.

But for all the demonstrations she can show the students to get them interested in different types of literature, she said the best sources were always fellow students. She said she wanted students to feel comfortable recommending books to others and sharing their own experiences.

She said her hope is that students will visit the library throughout the year and want to come in and curl up on one of the new couches to enjoy a good book in leisure.

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