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A Chat with John Schumacher, Scholastic Ambassador of School Libraries

With 55,000 Twitter followers, John Schumacher—aka “Mr. Schu”—is a pressure to be reckoned with within the college librarian world. He began his weblog—the title of which, “Mr. Schu Reads,” is an unlimited understatement—whereas an elementary trainer librarian in Illinois. He’s now a “touring librarian” who visits faculties throughout the nation, and, since 2015, Ambassador of Faculty Libraries for Scholastic Guide Gala’s. We caught up with Schu, additionally a choose for SLJ’s 2018 Faculty Librarian of the 12 months, to search out out what he’s been as much as currently.

SLJ: You’ve been the Ambassador of Faculty Libraries for Scholastic Guide Gala’s for 2 years now. What’s one factor you’ve discovered because you began—and the way do you propose to make use of that information within the months and years forward?
JS: It has been an extremely rewarding and magical expertise touring from state to state, from college to highschool, from convention to convention, connecting with college students, teacher-librarians, classroom lecturers, directors, and library advocates. I’ve met hundreds of inspiring librarians and college students.

When you sat subsequent to me on a aircraft, you’d see that the very first thing I do is take out my pocket book and file all my ideas, emotions, and observations about that day’s or week’s experiences. Pleasure is the phrase you’d discover recorded probably the most in my notebooks. That is what I’ve discovered over the previous two years: All of us need and must expertise extra pleasure in our libraries and private lives. Generally we’d like assist discovering and experiencing it once more. Within the months and years forward, I wish to unfold extra pleasure and kindness.

What’s been the largest shock of these two years?
The largest (and saddest) shock is the variety of lecturers and teacher-librarians who inform me they don’t seem to be allowed to learn aloud to their college students. The administration sees it as a waste of time. This breaks my coronary heart. The easiest way to attach with our college students and colleagues is by studying books aloud collectively.

You’re a choose for SLJ‘s 2018 Faculty Librarian of the 12 months Award. What do you assume is crucial factor for a college librarian in 2018 to recollect?
That college students are at all times our primary precedence. Our job is to help them, to advocate for them, and to point out them the best way to use their voices to advocate for themselves and to grow to be ambassadors for what they consider in. I’m honored to function a choose.

Why are college libraries extra vital than ever?

Faculty libraries and faculty librarians present us the best way to make this world a brighter place for everybody. And each baby deserves to attend a college with a library and a full-time librarian.


What number of books have you learn to date this 12 months? Which upcoming titles have caught your eye?Oh, thanks a lot for asking this query. I’ve learn 142 books throughout 2018 to date. I’m excited for teacher-librarians to learn and booktalk these titles…


Center-Grade Novels

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Evening Diary by Veera Hiranandani


Image Books

A Huge Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

What IF…by Samantha Berger; illustrated by Mike Curato

Think about by Juan Felipe Herrera; illustrated by Lauren Castillo



Otis and Will Uncover the Deep: The File-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Katherine Roy

A Seed is the Begin by Melissa Stewart

D-Day: The World Conflict II Invasion that Modified Historical past by Deborah Hopkinson

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