Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

19 October 2006

One more reason I love teaching LIS

AHA 2005 Conference Group Shot

There are some days when being a professor seems more like an unending list of committees, correcting papers, and trying to squirrel away time for research. I am lucky that those days are rare since I believe in my subject and I have such great students.

I am also encouraged when I see students or graduates do great things, like the many who are becoming leaders in HLA and HASL. I celebrate their career successes, and am proud when they become leaders in the profession. A few days ago I received an e-mail that really made my week.

It was from Robin Fancy, who is the School Media Library Specialist at Lanai Public & School Library, as well as one of our students who is taking our MLISc Program via Distance Education courses. I met her in Lanai when I was there for the
Association of Hawaii Archivists Annual Conference

I had her as a student in my Collection Management course about two years ago. She was listening when I encouraged students to work with publishers to create materials that are not in print. As a teacher and librarian, she knew that there were few basic books in Illocano, which is the language spoken by most Filipino immigrants in Hawaii. She worked with Lanai ESLL teacher Vala Welch, and the two came up with a book written in English, Tagalog and Illocano that will introduce the “'Concepts' of numbers, shapes, colors and animals." They also applied for grants to help with production, and publishing. They received $3,000 from the Hawaii Community Foundation to help make it possible, and have applied for much more funding if they can demonstrate an increased test scores on Lanai. They also secured some great illustrations by Ronny Lynn on Filipino culture.

I was thrilled to read that, "It was because of your class and support that helped make this dream come true." Robin and her team deserve all of the credit, but I am kvelling (a good Yiddish word for beaming with a happy pride).

Look out for this book from Bess Press in the next few months.