"It's so gratifying to watch my students grow as readers and get excited about something they discovered in the library."
Elisabeth Zimmer fondly remembers her childhood school librarian, Mrs. Moore. After all, Mrs. Moore encouraged Zimmer's passion for books and even let her shelve the returns. As the school librarian at Schofield Elementary School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Zimmer picks up where Mrs. Moore left off, introducing students to the joys of reading, the fundamentals of research, and, above all, a love of the library.
Previously an instructional designer and editor, Zimmer chose Simmons for its strong reputation and intensive School Library Teacher program. From exploring picture books to explaining proper citation format, she now uses her skills in pedagogy, technology, literary analysis, reference, and storytelling every day. Much to her pleasure, no two of these days are alike.
"Librarians, in general, never know what people are going to ask them. But fielding questions from a six-year-old adds an extra point of interest!"
Especially influential for Zimmer were the two practicums she conducted while at Simmons. Working under "fantastic" librarians, she gained valuable on-the-job training at Cambridge's Amigos School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Each garnered her impressive materials for her portfolio — lesson plans and bibliographies, in particular — that she believes made all the difference during her job search. In addition, she enhanced her leadership experience as a Dean's Editorial Fellow, for which she undertook writing assignments for the SLIS newsletter and website. She also served as co-chair of the student interest group of the Massachusetts School Library Association.
Whether it's introducing a second- grader to a thrilling new book series or leading a fifth-grade class in research on ancient China, Zimmer's efforts produce enthusiastic results. "It's so gratifying to watch my students grow as readers and as people and get excited about something they discovered in the library," she says.
Zimmer also reports that she occasionally runs into Mrs. Moore, this time as a colleague, at school library conferences.