Libraries Are the Heart of the School: with Jessica Fitzpatrick

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Texas librarian Jessica Fitzpatrick. She has worked in a middle school library and just transitioned to a high school library this school year. She is the winner of the 2020 TXLA Branding Iron Award for Community Engagement and the TLA District 8 Webmaster. Click here to listen now!

Here are some Librarian Influencer strategies Jessica shared for early-career librarians:

  • Be aware of the change you are making and how it impacts everyone. Not everyone will like the changes you make.

  • As she transitions to a high school library, she wants to focus on supporting her students’ mental health and help them manage their stress.

  • She is making plans for online and in-person mental health activities.

  • Go to as many Professional Learning Committees (PLCs) as you can. Try to focus on more than just English Language Arts teachers. She focused on collaborating with a different content area each nine weeks: ELA, Social Studies, Science, and then planned for Math which didn’t happen due to school closures.

  • Jessica connects with other librarians primarily on Instagram. These librarians form her Personal Learning Network (PLN) and she has never even met them in person.


Jessica engages with her students to help make the library the heart of the school.

  • She works hard to make her library programming fun. She writes grants to fund the fun things she wants to do with the students.

  • She hosts student lunch and learns to teach them how to use the 3D printers and use a green screen.

  • She is making plans for a library breakout/escape room for her new high school students.

Jessica’s advice for new librarians:

  • Grow your PLN.

  • Join your state library organization.

You can follow Librarian Influencer Jessica Fitzpatrick at:

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Laura Sheneman, EdD, MLS

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