Announcements

Serge Danielson-Francois

1/22/2021

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Serge Danielson-Francois

Librarian, Divine Child High School, Dearborn, Michigan

 

Describe your career as a librarian and where you work.

I have been a librarian for twenty years. I started as a children’s librarian and assistant branch manager for the Kansas City Public Library at the Trails West Branch in November 2000 and have worked in multiple settings since then. I was a public services theological librarian for the Dana Dawson Library at Saint Paul School of Theology and a reference librarian for the Harris County Public Library/Cy-Fair (now Lonestar) College before assuming my current position as school librarian for Divine Child High School in 2007. Divine Child is a parish school in the Archdiocese of Detroit with a high school enrollment just below nine hundred students. I am also the lead teacher for our AP Capstone program, the lead moderator for our Debate Society, and advisor for the Ministry of Presence initiative and our Business Club.

Share something about yourself not related to librarianship.

I am a long-suffering fan of the New York Jets (J-E-T-S). My brother idolized Curtis Martin, and I am a Wayne Chrebet devotee, known to describe a sure thing as “entrusted to the hands of Wayne Chrebet.” I miss the dominant defense (the New York Sack Exchange) that once defined my favorite team.

How does your faith inspire or fit in with your work?

I think librarianship is a vocation. For more than thirteen years, I have interpreted the work that we accomplish in the Bernardine Franciscan Learning Center as guided by these verses from Ephesians 4:15-16: “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” As librarians, we promote, to paraphrase Bernard Lonergan, the judgment and human understanding that make “speaking truth in love” not only possible but, with God’s help, likely.

When and why did you get involved in the CLA?

I became a member of CLA in 2007 when I moved to Michigan to begin my work at Divine Child High School. I had been a member of the American Theological Library Association until then. I presented at the 2008 spring conference in Indianapolis on the transformation of our library into an unfinished space defined by radical hospitality (whosoever, whenever, wherever), nomadic reference and circulation, acceptable loss (no due dates or fines), and town hall programming (outside voices, expert voices, archived voices).

What has been your most rewarding experience with the CLA?

When I was president of the Michigan chapter of the Catholic Library Association, I reached out to CLA to help identify speakers for our fall 2013 conference and the suggested experts were extraordinary. I have shared our work at Divine Child in promoting a deep immersion in the Catholic intellectual tradition through book clubs and discussions. Our most successful initiatives have made The Iliad, The Republic, and “A Good Man is Hard to Find” central to the moral formation of our students. What do you hope for the future of the CLA? My hope for the future of the CLA is the same as my hope for my local setting. Here is what I wrote when I started at Divine Child: “A twenty-first century library is both a physical and virtual place where communities of shared inquiry build trust, articulate hopes, and engage the compelling civic and moral challenges of the day. A library in the digital age is an intentionally public space where ideas are weighed and considered, where knowledge consumption and knowledge production are mediated. We test the limits of what we know in order to embrace what is unknown or only partially revealed. We must restore credibility to our knowledge commons and prize once more authority, reliability, and hypothesis testing as much as we now revere notoriety, currency, and convenience. We must dare to expose the gaps in our knowledge. A Catholic library should be the place where we measure our progress towards the truth."

 

Kathy Harty

12/28/2020

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Kathy Harty

Resource & Education Services Librarian, Leo Dehon Library Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology, Franklin, Wisconsin

 

Describe your career as a librarian and where you work.

I am the Resource & Education Services Librarian at Sacred Heart Seminary & School of Theology, in the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sacred Heart is a national seminary run as an apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ), an international order founded by Ven. Leo John Dehon in 1878. We have a seminary division that accepts students from dioceses and religious orders around the country, and a Master of Arts division that trains laity and seminarians for ministry in various parts of the Church. I’ve been at Sacred Heart since 1982 and have enjoyed pretty much every day! My current duties include answering questions; helping faculty and students with research; co-teaching a first-year course (Theological Research & Writing) for all incoming Masters of Divinity students; being the library webmaster; creating LibGuides; assisting with inter-library loan; assisting faculty in using Populi, our learning management system; filming, streaming, and editing video for special events; learning more about online teaching; basically, many of the public services. In addition, the library staff is first-tier technical support for students, faculty, and staff—a nice variety of things, never a chance for boredom!

Share something about yourself not related to librarianship. 
My husband and I have three children and two grandchildren. I also teach fourth grade religious education at our parish. 

How does your faith inspire or fit in with your work?
It’s a marvelous fit between the two because I don’t have to hide or suppress my faith; it’s a part of helping to train future priests and lay people for ministry in the Church. It has also given me the opportunity to get a second master’s degree in theology, and for attending conferences and other continuing education sessions. And I love to hear the faith journeys of our students, both lay and future ordained.

When and why did you get involved in the CLA?
I got involved with CLA through our local Wisconsin chapter. I had been encouraged by my library director to get involved locally, so I found out about WCLA and CLA. I served as the chair of the Academic/Library Education Section from 1991 to 1993, on the Executive Board from 1993 to 1995 as membership chair, and was the convention program editor from 1994 to 1996. 

What has been your most rewarding experience with the CLA?
I think my time on the board was wonderful, because CLA was going through a transitional time, and seeing how board members and members worked so hard to preserve this resource was inspiring. And to see how it’s been kept up is encouraging. 

What do you hope for the future of the CLA? 
CLA provides a much-needed forum, focus, and resource, particularly for those smaller libraries at the elementary and high school levels, which allows the librarians to form their students well. It’s also a place in which librarians in specifically Catholic situations, or who are Catholic, can discuss issues that are pertinent in a helpful atmosphere.
 

Heather Bouwman

12/21/2020

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Heather Bouwman

Professor of English, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota

Author of fantasy novels for kids 

Describe your career as a librarian and where you work.
I’m an English professor at the University of St. Thomas, where I’ve worked since 2001. Originally hired as an early American specialist, I’ve since transitioned to writing children’s novels and teaching creative writing courses. I love teaching—though this year with the pandemic has been particularly challenging—and I love writing. St. Thomas has been particularly supportive of my mid-career switch in focus from early American to creative writing, and I’ve found wonderful colleagues in the English department and elsewhere on campus. While at St. Thomas, I’ve published three fantasy novels for kids ages 10+, and three early chapter books for kids 5-8 years old. (Apparently, I ignore nine-year-olds!)

Share something about yourself not related to librarianship your job.
I’m a martial artist—a fifth degree black belt in the traditional Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won, which I’ve studied for over 25 years, and which my two almost-adult kids have also studied for most of their lives. I started it on a whim in grad school (a friend said, “You should come to class with me”) and all these years later, it’s a huge part of my life.

How does your faith inspire or fit in with your work?
The study of literature should naturally lead readers to consider the moral, philosophical and religious underpinnings of the text. In my professorial life and in my creative writing, I don’t ever try to be a theologian or catechism teacher; that’s not my job. I don’t think the work of a novelist—or of a college professor—is to provide answers to the big questions of life, but rather, it is to encourage readers—and students—to carefully ponder the big questions in all their messiness.

That said, my three early readers—the Eleanor and Owen series—were published by a Lutheran-owned press and do deal explicitly with issues of faith, but (I hope) without being didactic. These books definitely grew out of my own beliefs as a progressive Christian.

When and why did you get involved in the CLA?
I was delighted to be asked to interview the Regina Medal recipients the last two years for the CLA online conference; it was a joy to interview Kate DiCamillo in 2019 and Christopher Paul Curtis in 2020. (It was also a little scary, because I love their writing SO MUCH!)

How has being involved with the CLA been important to your professional development?
I have become much more aware of the work of the organization—which was not very much on my radar before becoming involved with the conference! And on a relatively minor note: I’m impressed with how well the CLA runs an online conference, excelling at it well before the pandemic forced other in-person conferences to go online.
 

Letter from CLA President Jack Fritts

4/1/2020

Letter from CLA President Jack Fritts

Dear CLA members and friends,

During times like this, it is more important than ever for communities to come together, even when it is online or by phone. With many CLA members staying at home, we are making the March 2020 issue of Catholic Library World online, open access. The issue is also being mailed as usual. We want everyone to be able to see the relevant conference content before our virtual conference on April 2.

I encourage everyone to invite colleagues and friends to read the journal issue and to join us for the Spring 2020 virtual conference. With so many conferences and professional development opportunities being canceled at this time, the CLA conference will offer an opportunity to connect, learn, and develop professionally. The conference is free for CLA members and only $25 for nonmembers. “All are welcome.”

Participants will be able to earn a certificate of attendance that can be used as proof of participation. Click here to register. Please consider forwarding this message to a friend or colleague who would be interested in reading the journal and attending our conference.

I hope to see you there,

Jack Fritts, CLA President

 

2020 Regina Medal Award Winner - Christopher Paul Curtis

3/3/2020

Christopher Paul Curtis was awarded both a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor for his debut book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, and won the Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award for his second book, Bud, Not Buddy. Mr. Curtis is also the author of the Golden Kite Award-winning Bucking the Sarge, as well as The Journey of Little Charlie, a 2018 National Book Award finalist for Young People’s Literature, The Mighty Miss Malone, and two previous books in The Buxton Chronicles: The Madman of Piney Woods, the Newbery Honor book Elijah of Buxton.

 



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