It’s not your Momma’s Library!

After the call for bouncers to block the doors, it didn’t take long to figure out that school libraries aren’t what they used to be! The “bouncers” were JCPS Media Services employees making sure no one took a sneak peek at the surprise opening of the JCPS Librarian Summer Academy.

Several hundred librarians and support staff attended the two-day event, energizing them for the 2022–2023 school year. Louisville Water Education and Outreach staff shared the company’s educational resources at the Growing Readers, Growing Leaders conference. “Libraries are a great community spaces to share the Louisville Water story with teachers, students and parents,” said Education and Outreach Manager Channa Newman. Librarians visiting Louisville Water’s table signed up for H2knOw, the company’s education and outreach newsletter, along with a chance to win a Pure Tap® swag bag.

The conference comes on the heels of a tough two years for school librarians. Many had to abandon their libraries to step-in for teachers sick with Covid. “You are not just holders and keepers of books; school libraries are a safe place for students to land. The spaces you create show love, kindness and racial equity every day”, said Dr. Lynn Reynolds, JCPS Library and Media Services Director. Attendees hope to get back in their library homes at the start of the new school year.

Special guest speaker, Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor and creator of the “Justice for Breonna Movement”, told members of the audience, “Libraries are a special place, creating sparks of change.” She was accompanied by her daughter, Ju’Niyah, who told the group, “I had to be kicked out of the library every day and sent back to my classroom, but it was the break I needed to get myself together.”

Southern High School librarian, Sarah Robinson, said, “Today everything happens in the library. It’s not a quiet place anymore, it’s the heart of the school.” Robinson has a special place in her heart for Louisville Water. Seven years ago, she was married at Louisville Water Tower Park.

And what was that special opening act protected by the “bouncers”? The media services team, dressed in sequins and white pants, busting a move to some snippets of popular, motivational music. Again, not your momma’s library!

Tamika and Ju’Niyah Palmer with JCPS Library & Media Services Director, Dr. Lynn Reynolds

Southern High School Librarian Sarah Robinson