Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much: with Nicole Cruz

The Librarian Influencer of the Week is Texas librarian Nicole Cruz. She serves 2 high schools both at the same location: a comprehensive high school and an early college high school. Nicole is also the lead librarian for her district. Click here to listen now!

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

  • She became the librarian at a campus where she had her first job as a teacher. She felt fearless because she already had some relationships in place.

  • Laugh and find humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Everyone has different perspectives.

  • One of a librarian’s best skills is listening. Listen to your patrons to best determine what you can do to help them.

  • Invite yourself to meetings. (Bring snacks!)

  • Join your state library organization to help grow your leadership skills and network with people.

  • Make a list and take pleasure in crossing things off your list! You can’t finish everything in one day. Focus on what you have done to build your self-confidence.

This past summer Nicole prepared for the next school year.

  • She focused on herself this summer. Self-care is important.

  • Nicole reads as much as possible, like her Battle of the Books titles.

  • She spends time with her family.

  • Nicole worked on Google Level 1 certification.

As a district lead librarian:

  • Nicole arranges for meetings/trainings for her district’s librarians.

  • She leads them in goal planning, planning, and even trains them in digital tool acquisition.

Nicole works hard on her Library Programming:

  • She encourages you to see what your patrons' needs are.

  • She has hosted Poetry Slams.

  • She brings in Authors/Illustrators, including the Texas Commission on the Arts, which brings in touring artists from their roster or performers

  • She also brings in students from her feeder elementary schools to join them for certain events

  • Mindfulness was a recent topic of focus. She partnered with a local graduate student who was looking for a place to host a teacher mindfulness training. Nicole picked up on the tips and used them for herself and her teens and mental health.

  • Nicole hosts recent graduates in a panel discussion to share about their first 6 months of being on their own. Current students ask questions to the panel.

  • She hosts FAFSA drives and provides peer mentor tutoring.

  • Nicole also shares about college prep and entrance exam practice she provides through Gale Testing and Education Reference Center.

You can follow Librarian Influencer Nicole Cruz at:

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Laura Sheneman, EdD, MLS

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