Iowa Women’s Archives, Part 1

“My mother was a librarian in elementary school libraries, and both my grandparents worked in college libraries in their later years. So I thought about being a librarian, but I really got the history bug when I was in college. I hated history in high school because it all seemed to be about wars and…

Coralville Public Library, Part 5

“The crux of librarianship to me is helping people. I think most librarians are in this profession because we enjoy helping people and making a real, huge difference in people’s lives. But also, we’re here to make the democratic society work. We help level the playing field between those who can afford access to certain…

Coralville Public Library, Part 4

“I just attended a meeting that had representatives from all sorts of organizations. Lots of them were churches, but the Crisis Center, the Food Pantry, and the Johnson County Human Services were also there. We just talked about what we are all doing to serve people that need a little extra help. It was a…

Coralville Public Library, Part 3

“We’re really happy to be partnering with the Coralville Food Pantry. We started a Food for Fines program with them five years ago, where we take donations for the pantry in lieu of fine money during September. When library staff identified the need with the kids, I sat down with John from the pantry and…

Coralville Public Library, Part 2

“Coralville has a very diverse population. How do you work to meet the needs of different groups?” “I feel like we’ve been getting more into looking at basic needs that aren’t being met. How can we help people out with those things? For example, I felt like our staff kept having conversations about the kids…

Coralville Public Library, Part 1

“What is your favorite part of being a librarian?” “Without a doubt, it’s when I feel I’ve made a difference in someone’s day or life. I also love getting to work with interesting people who care about our community.” Ellen Hampe Alexander, Assistant Director & Reference Services Coordinator, Coralville Public Library

Prairie Heights Elementary, Part 4

“I want to hear about Jordy. How did she come to be in the library?” “So, our school district has therapy dogs in every building. Teachers use them if a kid is having a bad day or as a reward. If kids get so many smiley faces or good tickets, then they get to hang…

Prairie Heights Elementary, Part 3

“I wish more staff members understood what a teacher librarian could do for them and for their students. I think that is a wish of most teacher librarians. Unfortunately, a lot of teachers and administrators don’t realize the partners we can be in helping students reach their educational goals and the resource we can be…

Prairie Heights Elementary, Part 2

“I would love for the library to be the place that students want to come and read or just relax. I would like it to be more of the center for our building. For some reason, most of the kids think of the library as a place to check out and return books, not a…

Prairie Heights Elementary, Part 1

“I’ve always had a passion for those kids who say, ‘I can’t find anything to read, I don’t like reading.’ I take that as a challenge – ‘Oh, I’m going to find you something.’ I want to find that kid that book, that one book that makes them say, ‘Oh! Maybe I do like reading.’…

Washington Public Library, Part 5

“Librarianship is about listening to the community and then acting. We could do programs until we’re blue in the face, and people might come, but it wouldn’t necessarily change any lives. And that’s what I feel libraries are supposed to do: we’re supposed to change lives for the better. I believe we can do that….

Washington Public Library, Part 4

  “This year, we’re actually doing the program in the park. In April, they did a clothesline project for Sexual Awareness month, where people decorated T-shirts and hung them all over the park. That was very powerful – the park was full of T-shirts. We were talking about doing that for this program, but we…