Hi there! I’m Jessica, not Beaker. I’m a book-loving, late-night blogging former teacher turned library lady. I spent most of my teacher time in preschool and kindergarten. Back then my favorite things included teaching young children how to read and write, exploring STEAM, empowering caregivers, and most of all… reading aloud! Then I found out there’s a whole different field that gets to do just that on a community-wide scale. I was out. Or in, depending on your perspective. 🙂
Since starting my library journey in 2016, I’ve finished my MLS and worked with three different public library systems in the Denver Metro area. I’m an Emporia State University SLIM alum – and if you are too, let’s connect through the Alumni Facebook Group! Along the way I’ve been a library page, a volunteer preschool storyteller, a volunteer shelver, a floor associate, a storytime specialist, an early literacy department lead and a youth services librarian.
Oh, and speaking of employers past and present, the thoughts and opinions expressed on this blog are my own.
In his 1997 Emmy Acceptance Speech, Mr. Rogers said:
“All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take along with me ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are? Those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life. Ten seconds of silence.”
In my ten seconds I can think of a hella bunch of awesome library people who’ve transformed my life personally and professionally. I’m blessed beyond measure to have spent my most formative years as a new professional with mentors such as Lori Romero, Melissa Depper of Mel’s Desk and Miss Mary Liberry. I’ve also got to thank my husband, who always has my back and with whom I immensely enjoy all of life’s adventures, from drinking tea to hiking mountains.
My professional interests include…
- exploring the connection between early math and early literacy
- supporting young writers
- empowering caregivers
- partnering with educators
- neurodiversity and disability (especially as they intersect with library life)
- making libraries and my work more equitable and inclusive
On this blog I mostly write about storytimes and program plans, but occasionally share my thoughts on these other subjects.
I presented about Early Math with my fabulous colleague Lauren Graham at the 2018 Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy Conference and explored Creating Self-Reflective Storytime Professional Development with Melissa Depper at UW Madison’s 2019 Power Up Conference. I’ve also helped lead library staff trainings on putting PLAY and WRITE into storytime action.
Thanks for visiting!
My blog button and many of the graphics used on my blog were designed using clip art from the amazingly talented Kari Bolt Design & Illustration. Go check her out!