Each month, an ALSC member is profiled and we learn a little about their professional life and a bit about their not-so-serious side. Using just a few questions, we try to keep the profiles fun while highlighting the variety of members in our organization. So, without further ado, welcome to our ALSC profile, ten questions with ALSC member, Jill Bellomy:
What do you do, and how long have you been doing it?
I have been a school librarian for 7 years after teaching for 11. Last year, I had the chance to return as a librarian to the school where I previously taught. It has been such fun to reconnect with former colleagues and students! Our campus is a combined intermediate middle school serving over 2,000 students in grades 5 — 8.
Why did you join ALSC? Do you belong to any other ALA divisions or roundtables?
I joined ALSC in 2011. I was a member of ALA, AASL, and YALSA, but I hate to admit, I didn’t know much about ALSC. I learned from colleagues of all the division does to support children’s services and wondered why it took me so long to join! I also learned ALSC is a sponsor of many of the Youth Media Awards; I greatly support and anticipate this annual honoring of literary excellence. Now, I am a member of the ALSC Membership Committee working to spread the word about this exciting division!
Do you have a “guilty pleasure” TV show?
Unfortunately, I have several. I indulge in reality TV shows like Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, Top Chef, and even The (ridiculous!) Bachelor and Bachelorette. Complete guilty pleasures! I also enjoy the dramatic series Downton Abbey and Mad Men.
Legos or Lincoln Logs?
Legos! I have loved them since I was a kid. I’d like to start a Lego Club in our library.
What children’s book character would you most like to meet?
As a child, I would have liked to meet Eloise … actually, I wanted to be Eloise. She had a pug and a turtle (both of which I love), and living in New York City in the Plaza Hotel seemed beyond wonderful! Truth be told, there are still days I might like to be Eloise. J
Have you ever participated in a Flash Mob?
Yes! Last year we had a “fire drill” on Halloween, and once all were on the sports field outside the school, many of the teachers and staff suddenly broke into a flash mob dance to Thriller. We had secretly been practicing for weeks. It was a hoot, and the kids loved it!
Favorite Caldecott book?
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. I adored this book as a child. I remember loving the cozy feel of the story; I read it over and over, poring over the detailed illustrations. Later as an elementary teacher, I shared it with my students and they were enamored as well, even 50 years after it was awarded the medal!
What is your favorite thing about the beginning of fall?
I love the start of school … new students, new school supplies, new books, the exciting possibilities of a new year. I am also crazy about college football and am thrilled when the season begins!
What do you love about your work?
It makes my heart sing when a student (or teacher!) comes back after reading a book I have recommended and wants another. Helping others find books they will love and guiding them toward a life of reading is truly my passion. It’s the reason I became a librarian and will always be my favorite part of the job.
What makes you laugh?
My husband (the funniest person I know), kids, Mo Willems, Seinfeld reruns, Will Ferrell, Jack Gantos, Jim Gaffigan, and Charles Barkley … to name a few! J
Thanks, Jill! What a fun continuation to our monthly profile feature! Jill Bellomy is the librarian at Highland Park Middle School in Dallas, Texas. She is an advisor for the Texas Lone Star Reading List Committee, is a member of the Librarians’ Choices project, serves on the AASL Educator Preservice Task Force, and blogs regularly about children’s and YA literature at www.jilliciousreading.com.
Do you know someone who would be a good candidate for our ALSC Monthly Profile? Are YOU brave enough to answer our ten questions? Send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll see what we can do.