I love books— the physical feel of them, the smell of aged paper and ink, the artistry of covers and even the teaser text that accompanies them. Most of all I love the portal that opens to a new world when I fold back the cover and dive into a new story. For a few minutes or even hours, I can leave this world and become part of someone else’s narrative— no matter fact or fiction what a gift the author has given its reader.

I was the kid who always got in trouble at school for having my nose shoved in a book that wasn’t a textbook. As I got older, the stories inspired me to want more in my life. When I read about someone’s journey to Africa on safari, I wanted to experience it for myself. I no longer wanted to be restrained by what some overlord had determined to be important. I wanted to learn by doing. Even if I could not travel to the Masai Mara in Kenya, I could learn to build a birdhouse with the tools in my mom’s garage— teaching myself geometry, drafting, art and woodworking without ever stepping into a classroom. 

How does one bridge the gap between the requirements of a state-mandated education system and one’s own desire to learn about and experience the world? With a little help from a really good school librarian of course! Which is exactly how I came to find my dream job at Oodle School in the Resource Center.