Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A bit about me

I am the sole librarian at Henry Abbott Technical High School, one of the 16 schools in the CT Technical HS system.  I came to education via public librarianship.  Twelve years ago, it was a big change.  I like to say, I went from being adored by preschoolers to being ignored by teenagers!

When I started at Abbott, there were four student computers in the library, and the computer that housed the  library catalog was dead.  There was a physical card catalog.  The space was the size of 1 1/2 classrooms, and the wall-to-wall books were dusty and old.  Nothing circulated. The big round tables and chairs took up all of the floor space. Our decennial NEASC visit was eight months away, so things changed rapidly.

By the time the visiting committee arrived, we had ten computers in the library, I had cleared out the outdated books, the card catalog was gone, and the OPAC was up and running. Whew!  Since then, we have a renovated building, I have a brand new library 6 times the size, we have implemented the Accelerated Reading program, there 18 are computers in the library and we share two classrooms of computers. The State has provided an iPod cart (30 iPods and a Mac) and a netbook cart for student use.  We are wireless, and we have a BYOD policy. (Bring Your Own Device.)  BIG changes.

I feel like I struggle to keep up with all the new technology.  Ian and some of the authors of our assigned articles have taught at CTHSS workshops and worked with the CTHSS librarians, so I knew I would get valuable information, aligned with our system's philosophy, in my IT&DML courses.

Outside of my library job, I have a "rich and fulfilling life."  That's my way of saying "I keep busy."  Our school traditionally has a lame after-school culture. Sports. Period.  A colleague and I took over Yearbook three years ago and we meet after school.  I started the LEO club (think Lion's Club junior) with another colleague and we meet twice a month.  I also co-advise the Class of 2015 during school and act as the school liaison for the DSABC mentor program.  Previously, I co-advised two other classes and National Honor Society, and I have updated the school website.  I gave those up as I took on other responsibilities.

I am active in my church.  I chair the Stewardship Committee and participate in the handbell choir (Watch us in action: and the adult (singing) choir.  I also co-chair a booth at the Yankee Fair and Barn sale in October.  What's life without a second job?  I prepare other people's income taxes from February to April 15th.  I've done that for over 25 years.

I do make some time for my family, believe it or not.  I am married.  My now-20-year-old son, John, can be seen in the handbell youtube video right beyond me (he was still in HS at the time.)  He tried college for one year and decided he'd rather work.  He is a fantastic guitar player and song-writer, but lacks self-marketing skills.  He plays in a band called "Dan's Garage," made of of a bunch of guys from church. (If interested, here's Comfortably Numb:  My husband, Gordon, learned how to play bass in order to play in the band. He went through cancer treatment last year.  Since then, he is physically unable to return to his former job, so he's working hourly for a friend temporarily until he finds someone who will hire him. In my "spare" time, I sew and knit, have a small garden, and volunteer for things here and there. In spite of living in a standard 1960's ranch with a galley kitchen, Gordon and I love to entertain. We have one young cat, and one old dog and we live in Brookfield CT, 12 minutes from where I work.

A question: How many of you had at least one parent who worked in education?


  1. It's nice reading about how you came to this place. You've been through so many changes at school, but they all sound positive. There's no one in my family who is a teacher - I chose it as something to do till I figured out what I really wanted to do. Still teaching 27 years later.

  2. Sally,

    I can so relate to your situation entering a school with limited or out-dated resources and a building that despite being built in the 70's was just so run down. Happy to say, especially for our students, that we are now in a beautiful new building, have a decent amount of technology, and a hard working staff. Sounds like you keep yourself busy with school and hobbies. I enjoyed getting to know you better.

  3. Sally, thanks for opening up..and the intro.

    My family is a bunch of lawyers...and politicians. In this latest generation, I have two brothers that also teach.