Monday, November 25, 2013

Meet Alyssa Calhoun

IASL member Alyssa Calhoun serves as the K-12 Media Specialist for Central City Schools. As a 1:1 school (iPads K-4 and laptops 5-12) much of her five years in the district has been devoted to refining the library curriculum to include more technology.  When library classes (PK-6) meet now there is always meaningful use of all things tech. Alyssa also teaches two robotics classes for junior high and high school students.

Google Docs Research Tool
“We integrate technology into almost every lesson, whether it is for research or using the Destiny library catalog. We also use Educreations on the iPads to talk about characters, make predictions, and create alternate endings to stories. Currently, the 5th & 6th graders are using the research function in Google Docs to learn about how other cultures celebrate winter holidays. The 1st-4th graders are learning about the functionality of the Destiny catalog and some of the advanced features of adding books to their personal bookshelf and rating books."

Alyssa carries three goals to school each day “for students to love reading, for students to have a passion for learning, and for them to believe that they are capable of reading and learning.”   When her high school students joke about the easy job of a librarian they can’t contain their laughter for long - they know she is so much more than that kind of librarian. “I am rarely the person who does the actual checking out or in because I'm always teaching!” Alyssa went on to say,  “I try to defy the typical librarian stereotype and I tell kids that they don't have to fit into one specific group either. It's okay to enjoy and participate in sports, music, art, book clubs, robotics and anything else they want.”  Alyssa enacts this advise in her varied roles of athletic coach, guitar player, robotics coach, and teacher's book club member.  She reminds those joking students that her ubiquitous presence in the life of the school “makes me the coolest librarian they've ever met!”

 To learn more about Alyssa’s library program visit her website:

 profile contributed by Ernie Cox / @erniec