Monday, March 10, 2014

Miranda Kral: Where the Wonders of Learning Never Cease

In 75-100 words, tell us who you are
I am Miranda Kral and I’m in my third year as district teacher librarian at Mid-Prairie Community Schools and Keota Community Schools.  I grew up west of North Liberty, IA and attended Clear Creek Amana Schools.  I received my BA in Elementary Education from UNI in 2010 and my MA in School Library studies from UNI in 2012.  I participated in the IASL Leadership Academy this past summer and am the Exhibitor contact for the 2014 IASL conference.
     Your current job 
      How do you set priorities, especially if assigned to multiple buildings?
I am responsible for seven libraries.  Priorities are a challenge to establish with the quantity of libraries I work in.  My focus, as well as every other educator, is on our students.  I am going to try something out next month by working primarily with fourth and fifth grade students at Mid-Prairie to expand their information literacy skills – something that doesn’t happen now.  We’ll see how it goes and hopefully show the need of expansion in my position.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?
One of the most challenging parts of my job is getting to know students and their interests.  Not being present in each library on a weekly basis makes that relationship/connection a challenge.  Another challenge is collection development of each library – knowing what we have and what we need is difficult to keep straight.

Advice and Inspiration 
What advice do you have for current and future librarians?
For those in multiple building positions, start small – meaning don’t think you can improve       everything right away.  Some library collections I work in need big time collection               development.  We are slowly working towards weeding and then rebuilding the collection in both print and electronic resources.  Another thing that I’m slowly working towards is making the transition from the more traditional library into a library of the 21st century.

What is the best part about attending conferences? Any tips to enhance the experience?Bringing the teacher librarian role back into perspective and knowing what I am continuously working towards.  Knowing that there are others doing what I do and learning from them is also something I enjoy.

Just for Fun
What fictional character would you most like to be for a day?
I make a connection, on some level, with many characters in books I read.  If I could be one for a day I’d choose to be Tris from Divergent.  I think having such strong character and being known as a leader towards change would be a good experience.

Contact Information

Library Website
Twitter: @MirandaKral

-Thanks to Diane Brown for organizing the interview!