The posters on this blog are teachers and librarians (public and school) who work with students everyday. Most of us work and teach in Downers Grove, IL and currently, are focusing on students in grades 7 and 8 because of our school system. Students from our school (O’Neill Middle School) will periodically be posting as well. Here is a little more about each blogger.
Tasha Squires (contributor name oneilllibrary) – Tasha has been interacting with middle school students since she began working as a public librarian back in 1996. At that time she was the Young Adult librarian, and enjoyed going into the middle schools to booktalk books of all genres. This love of working with middle school students led her to change her career path a bit, and she became a school librarian. Currently, she works as the Teacher Librarian (school librarian) for O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove, IL. She is also the author of the professional title Library Partnerships: Making Connections Between School and Public Libraries, 2009.
Bernice Homel (contributor name bhomel) was not always a reader. In her middle school days she never obsessed over any series or authors. It wasn’t until college and diving into young adult literature that she fell in love with reading. Once she became a teacher, she had students in her classes who hated reading. Those students helped change her life and she decided it was going to be her mission to help students find books they would love and be readers. She is currently the reading specialist at O’Neill Middle School in Downers Grove. She always reads books with the reluctant reader in mind since she was once one herself.
Lauren Horn (contributor name lhorn) is a middle school Reading and Language Arts teacher. During her middle school and high school years, she admits that she never really connected with the literature that was required in her various classes. However, reading Lois Lowry’s The Giver during a college course changed that. Lauren thoroughly enjoys when the novels and/or texts she reads really make you think and reflect on yourself as an individual. A sucker for a good YA romance/contemporary fiction read, she enjoys getting various recommendations from her students. There is nothing like the thrill of a student sharing their excitement about what they are reading!
Lynette Pitrak (contributor name lpitrak) worked at the Downers Grove Public Library, where her favorite activities were recommending books for teens and planning young adult programs. She currently is working as a school librarian in the Chicago area. In her spare time, Lynette loves to bike, paint, go on long walks with her dog Bernie, and, of course, read!! She especially loves books with a great sense of place, because then it feels like traveling.
Erin Linsenmeyer works at the Downers Grove Public Library as a children’s librarian/school liaison. She was that girl who would have rather have a book than a Barbie, who finished the library summer reading program in the first week, and who got in trouble one time for tricking someone into buying her the Babysitters Club after her mom thought it was a little too old for her (She was in first grade, sorry Mom!). She likes working in the library because it means she gets to see kids excited about their books, and she loves talking books too! Her favorite books are the types that teach you things, but she’s a sucker for young adult fantasy and graphic novels.