from Nina Jackson
This year the Long Beach School Librarians Association presented the Teacher Librarian of the Year Award to Jane Brooks from Cabrillo High School. If you asked Jane why she was given the award, she would say, “I don’t do anything special!” But Jane does many things very well and she IS special.
Some years ago, when she was the Teacher Librarian at Cubblerly K-8, she invited other TLs to come once a month after school to share lessons, materials, and challenges. This is so very typical of Jane; she sees a need, and does everything in her power to fulfill it. She is the most resourceful person I know. She knows where to go and who to ask and doesn’t know the meaning of “no.”
When developing the collection for the new library media center at Cabrillo, she knew her student population and hand picked every title. She was sure to select books of interest to her students as well as books to develop critical thinking skills and to challenge her students to stretch and reach for the highest achievements.
She has transformed the library at Cabrillo into a warm, welcoming oasis. All are welcome, and all come, knowing that they will behave appropriately. No nonsense and mutual respect is the abiding theme.
Jane goes to great lengths to obtain materials for students and faculty alike. It might be an interlibrary loan from another TL, driving by the Office of Multimedia Services on the way home so that a teacher might have just the right video for her class the next day, or working a deal with the local big box store to purchase materials at a reduced price. She works tirelessly for her students and staff in developing collaborative lessons that meet today’s educational standards.
Jane seeks out professional development, attending workshops and conferences with the California School Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, and the American Library Association. She seeks innovation and new technologies, providing foundational guidance to staff and students. She is a past president of the Long Beach School Librarians Association and has served as a board member in many capacities since. In addition, she is a site leader at Cabrillo, and presently serves on Cabrillo’s Shared Decision Making Committee. Jane also has worked for our Long Beach Public libraries for many years and she epitomizes the best in both school and public librarianship.
To sum up Jane in three words, she is tenacious, resourceful and dedicated. Oops….. One more word…. SPECIAL.