Diana O'Conner

School: Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School
Class: 6th – 12th grade Teacher Librarian
Experience: 21 years

As a teacher librarian at an all girls' college preparatory school, I reach into every content area to teach information literacy skills that will not only carry my students through college but into career and life. Learning to locate, validate, use and cite information is a life skill. I feel it is one of my responsibilities to make sure the bar for learning stays very high at our school, and that students have the tools and support to reach that bar. Sometimes my role is to make sure that our students' parents learn about how they can support the first generation college bound student in secondary school - what does that look like at home, even when they may not speak English. Our parents need to feel that they are welcome at our school and in the library; I want parents to understand that they have a source for finding information with their school librarian. I assist with locating and developing community partners who invest time, expertise and sometimes funding in our school. I direct eight grade level summer camps (middle school have a STEM focus and high school are centered on college readiness) that provide enrichment beyond the classroom and provide that valuable cache of experiences outside of their comfort zone to strengthen their self-confidence for college. I also assist in tracking our alumnae and bringing them back to speak to our students, sharing their wisdom gained from mastering college. The library is no longer a walled room in our building; I work hard to stretch the notion of finding information and turning it into knowledge throughout our school and beyond for our students.

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