My School Library as My Community by ALASC Treasurer Cindy Hottya

When the idea for a community-focused themed newsletter was presented, I associated community with the people that make up my city, and knew I had nothing to contribute, as I am an elementary school librarian, and not a city library employee. But it was pointed out to me, that my community…is my school.


As the elementary librarian at a small, private school, I see kids from preschool (age 3) to 6th grade. My kids do make me feel like quite the celebrity, always waving and greeting me when I see them outside of the library around campus, at school events, and even when I’m out shopping and I run into them.

How did I earn their endearment? I love what I do and they know and feel it. My days consists of shelving, reading, helping and teaching, and not in any specific order. I have story time with the preschool and kindergarten classes, during which I will read 2-4 books. This is my favorite time, as I can be as goofy, animated, silly, loud and dramatic as I want to be to keep the kids’ focus on the story and help them learn from the non-fiction books I read. When the bigger kids come through (grades 1-6), I teach them and then help them find the books they would like to read. I also help them with taking their Accelerated Reader tests on the computers.

When there are no kids in the library, I am processing new books, repairing old ones, shelving books, planning, re-organizing, photocopying, etc. It is during these times, that I can be quiet and really appreciate the kids that are here. It feels amazing to be able to hand them the book they are looking for, or see their excitement when I tell them what new books I have ordered for the library. I am honored to be in such a position that I can influence their desire to read.

I remember my school library growing up, smaller than my current kitchen, and how it felt to be there looking for books to read. I hope that my kids, my community, take away the same feeling I had. If I can’t turn them into ravenous readers, at the very least I hope they still remember library time as being fun and their librarian as being cool.

cindybioCindy is an elementary librarian in southern California with three children of her own. She is half-way through her MLIS program, having started in January 2016. Classes have been focused on managing digital assets, computer programming and catering to elementary and high school students. In her free time, she likes to read, sew, play games and craft.