Meet The School Librarian: Cherokee Elementary’s Amanda Shapiro

Name: Amanda Shapiro

School I work at: Cherokee Elementary

Years as librarian: Five years

Amanda Shapiro

Why did you decide to be a librarian? An opportunity opened up at my school and I jumped at it because reading is one of my passions.

What is the most rewarding part of working with children? I love introducing things to them and getting constant feedback! You know you have entertained them when they laugh and smile. You know you have helped them to understand something they were struggling with, because you see when that light bulb goes off and it builds their confidence. I am a life-long learner and I believe children feed off of your love and excitement for literacy.

What’s one thing someone may not know about being a school librarian? Being a librarian entails much more than just checking out books.

What makes a school librarian successful to you? When students and teachers look forward to their library visits with me and parents thank me for the care and attention to their student’s needs, I feel I’m doing my job well.

Describe the moment when you decided being an educator/librarian was what you wanted to do for a living? When my twins were born in 2001 and my son was diagnosed with Autism, my focus really turned to education. I am huge supporter for my kids’ public education, it was really not until then I found my passion.

To you, how do school libraries empower students? Students cannot navigate life successfully if they cannot read well. I like to provide materials and activities that motivate students by bringing books to life.

If a student were to come in right now asking for a book recommendation, what would you recommend? At this time, I would recommend any book written by Barbara Park. She is the author of the Junie B. Jones series. The late Barbara Park, who lived in the Scottsdale area, found her inspiration at Cherokee Elementary School and as a result, our school has been chosen as a Literary Landmark this year. This will be the first Literary Landmark for the state of Arizona.

What book can you read over and over again and it’s enjoyable each time you read it? Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller because it is hilarious to read aloud and imitate the characters.

What was the first book you read and it really gripped you? Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain because I like to put myself in a different time era.

Why was it so enthralling? No matter how much trouble he encountered, it did not curb his appetite for adventure.

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