Finding a job that brings joy to one’s life can be a tricky endeavor.
But for Theresa Harvey, librarian at St. John Bosco Catholic School (SJBCS), she believes she has found the perfect career path as a librarian, which she has been at the school since 2002.
Becoming a librarian was no surprise for Harvey, being that many of her family members were already in the field, but originally she started off as a school teacher in Palm Desert, Calif.
While teaching, a librarian position opened up and Harvey decided to take the job and began to fall in love with it.
When she moved to the Ahwatukee area, she decided to receive her Library Science Endorsement while teaching fourth grade at SJBCS.
During her teaching years the previous librarian decided to resign, allowing Harvey to jump at the chance to get the position she once grew to love.
Harvey said the transition worked out very nicely, and she’s been enjoying the experience because she is still able to teach.
“We have actual library classes for Pre-K through eighth grade, where they have an assigned time to come. I also get to know the children one-on-one because they come in throughout the day during lunch, recess, and during other times... It’s delightful because I get to know the children and their reading needs,” Harvey said. “It really is a delightful job.”
With each class Harvey teaches there are different curriculums: for eighth-graders most of the class work consists of research and preparing them for high school, while the younger students focus more on the literature.
The classes also teach the students how to use the index of the books they are reading and to know where to find the author of the book and the copyright date.
“Everyone is progressing to the point where they will be able to use the books for all their informational needs and not just to find a good story to read,” Harvey said.
Getting involved with the children when they step in to the library is also Harvey’s goal. She says it’s not a difficult task being that she sees them on a daily basis.
“I see them throughout the year, so I’m kind of growing with them,” Harvey said. “The most fun thing is by 7:30 a.m. I know there is going to be a child with their face pushed against the window to open the library up. It’s just so fun to see them grow, not only in their literature, but also with their research and the ways they do things. It’s amazing.”
Part of being a librarian is doing mini interviews with the children, she added, where she finds out what the child is interested in and the subject they enjoy the most.
Her colleague, Terri Lisi, has been working with her for nearly four years and is still amazed how involved Harvey is with each child she comes across.
“She has a way of engaging the children in a real love of reading. She challenges her students to be their best and to have a love of life for reading,” Lisi said, adding that Harvey tends to work with students individually to find just the right book for them, and knows each of her students’ interests.
“She is never too busy to walk a child over and help them find another book for them to be excited about,” Lisi said. “I think the personal interest and the devotion to a life-long love of reading Harvey has is something I have never seen before.”
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