Teacher-Librarian Craig Seasholes Roars!
Welcome to Library Lions Roar! Celebrating libraries and the outstanding librarians serving youth in schools and public libraries across the U.S. since 2010. Please Roar today’s guest Craig Seasholes. Craig is the president of the Washington Library Association, director for AASL Region 8 and is the busy Teacher-Librarian at Dearborn Park International Elementary in Seattle. It’s an honor to have Craig here on LLR. You’re on, Craig.
OMG, it’s that story!
Coming across a yellowed copy of “Andy and The Lion” in a library weeding pile, I recalled Captain Kangaroo TV storytelling magic. The Captain was my first personal Library Lion, as he beamed stories like Weston Woods’ adaptation of “Androcles and the Lion” into my imagination. Holding that sturdy book back from the discards, I marveled at the memory and saved the book for my students in our school library. Some stories stand the test of time, and Andy’s lion now lives on live in the school library at Dearborn Park International Elementary in Seattle.
When I read it aloud, I’ll admit it’s hard to stick to the text and not roar like the lions I once heard while (not) sleeping out on bare rock before a roaring fire in the Selous in Tanzania. (I do a fair rendition of elephant trumpeting, too, but that’s for another story). My roaring reading alouds bring one of my life’s adventures back and gives kids a clue to the sound and fear Andy must’ve felt while coming across his lion back in those yellowed pages. Roaring in the library might be “off topic” to some, but oh how I love modeling real-life-to-text connections to students and luring them into old books with enlivened literary engagement.
A LIT-TL acronym
In so many ways, being a school librarian is a dream job for me. The variety of opportunities that school library and information technology programs offer students and staff make every day adventure in teaching and learning.
Being a school librarian gives me a responsibility to include information technology instruction as students access and connect, create and share ideas and information across the curriculum. With a pun-ishing acronym, “LIT-TL” Library and Information Technology Teacher Librarians serve an important role in equitable access and opportunity, highlighted by a friend of mine in this LIT-TL rap
Don’t worry, it’s not all tech.
Promoting out-of-school independent reading is still a mainstay of librarians of all types. My Dearborn Park Dragon readers took home a holiday break reading log, where I offered a new book to all who read most every day of the winter holiday, and got this thoughtful question back from one fifth grader, “Does reading the Quran count?” Yes, does it ever!
So do author visits.
Preparing kids for an upcoming school visit with poet Charles Waters I had kids writing short poems like those we read in Waters and Latham’s “Can I Touch Your Hair?”
Given the book’s subtitle of “Poems of Race, Mistakes and Friendship” my students began by identifying their own differences and similarities, and with partners begin to exploring society’s big issues, through graphite scratched on school library journals. We shared our writing with Charles when he came into our school courtesy of the Antioch University Multicultural Children’s Literature Celebration.
Just one year ago I was sitting in the audience in ALA midwinter conference hearing Dr. Rudine Sims announce the Coretta Scott King Award for author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s Radiant Child.
Tweeting with delight, I was thrilled again when Javaka’s book of the young artist Jean Michael Basquiat won the Caldecott Award, too. At the end of the awards ceremony, I went straight to the ALA store for a set of those shiny gold and black stickers to put on copies of that book in my library and added two C.S.K.Award t-shirts for good measure. Flying back to Seattle to teach on the very next day, I was thrilled to give Javaka his shirt in celebration when he arrived in my library, again thanks to Antioch.
Photo, Javaka Steptoe with a student at DPIS acting the role of Basquiat’s mother Matilde.
Away from the stacks
I also get to learn and collaborate with a wide variety of state and national library colleagues as current Washington Library Association president. By taking a one year turn serving school, public, academic and special libraries I get to see the great things happening in libraries throughout Washington State. By successfully promoting legislation affecting libraries in our state, our libraries have had measurable successes and are seen as regional and national examples of a thriving library and literacy community. I’m especially heartened as libraries partner with schools thriving effort to bring readers and our communities closer together.
Back to books
Supporting “personalized learning” has always been the business of librarians. FRLibs
Thank you, Craig, for your terrific post!
Note to Librarians: If you’re a Youth Librarian working in a school or public library we’d love to hear about you and your library. Contact Janet at [email protected] for an interview slot.
Note to Authors: If you’re interested in Roaring for Libraries on this blog, contact Janet at [email protected] for an interview slot.