Media Specialist Ellen George discusses her role at Park

George appreciates her position as a school librarian


Isaac Wert

Media specialist Ellen George

What’s your name? What is your role at Park?

I’m Ellen George, and I’ve been the library media specialist at Park since 2003.

How did you become a librarian?

“In my mid-forties, I decided that I was going to go back to work full time and that I was going back to this dream I had of being a librarian, (so) I went to library school. I had already gotten a masters degree in American studies when I left undergraduate in the 70s. I got my masters in library science at St. Kate’s (university), and then also got a teaching license when this job became available. I’ve been doing school and love it.

Getting a liberal arts education helps you to think for yourself, to get a wider view of the world, and to have more questions, and that predicates all sorts of good things for your life.

How did you become a librarian at Park?

I was working (in the Park library) as an assistant when I went to library school, and all of the sudden, the same summer that I finished my last class of library school, there was a job opening in this same library. So I interviewed for it and was hired.

Did you plan on becoming a school librarian?

I didn’t plan on becoming a school librarian — I thought I was going to work at a public or college library. When I was in school and interned at a university library, I was bored, and I thought it’s way more fun at the high school.

What was your dream job as a child?

I loved animals, so I used to think that I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I can’t stand the sight of blood so that got scratched. I don’t think I really knew (at the time). I didn’t know what I was going to do until my forties.

What does your job entail?
I do a lot of managing the collection and (working with teachers). My specialty area is really doing research and web evaluation (of sources). I love working with people who are interested in finding unusual things (for research). If students are having any problems, and care about finding better research, I’m in.

It has been the best job ever. (My job) has been an adventure and (I’m) always learning something new every day.

How would you describe the library (LMC) at Park?

A library in a school is a common meeting space, a hub of the school. We have tried to provide not just newspapers to read, but browsing books and magazines and legos and coloring, chess, checkers and puzzle balls. It’s just a way to give students a place to also relax, whether they are going to read or just chill out.

How have you seen libraries evolve during your time as a librarian?

Libraries are changing a lot, even in the last 10, 15, 20 years. There used to be a print reference section that everybody used. (I have been) trying to roll with the times and find ways to provide the best resources I can for research and leisure reading — those are two of my big goals.

What’s your favorite book?

‘The Color Purple,’ by Alice Walker. It was one of the books that changed my sense of how resilient people can be and how connections and relationships change everything and help you find the strength you never would’ve guessed was there. That book was a revelation for me.

What do you like to do outside of your job?

I have a grandson now, so a lot of my life is surrounding my year-and-a-half-year-old grandson Ian. I see him probably three times a week — it’s the best gig ever.