Sharyland ISD Librarian Publishes Article in State Publications

Sharyland ISD Librarian Publishes Article in State Publications
Posted on 05/09/2018
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Sharyland ISD Librarian Publishes Article in State Publications

Wenndy Pray, B. L. Gray Jr. High librarian, recently published an article titled, “Reflections of a First-Year Librarian” in the Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL) blog TxASL Talks: Advocacy For All, and the Texas Library Association’s (TLA) Texas Library Journal.

“I am elated to be published,” expresses Mrs. Pray, “being published is one of my long-term goals finally fulfilled.” Both TASL and TLA strongly advocate for libraries and librarians across the state.  Librarians are encouraged to submit pieces that relate to censorship, library advocacy, reading practices, and supporting students in digital literacy among other topics. “When I received the invitation to submit a proposal, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to write about my own experiences as a first-year librarian.  I knew that librarians in all walks of life would appreciate this perspective.” The TxASL Talks blog published Mrs. Pray’s article in January 2018.

Texas Library Journal Chief Editor, Wendy Woodland discovered Mrs. Pray’s article on the blog and immediately reached out to her for publication. “The Journal’s readers are from all types of libraries, and are at varying stages of their careers,” explains Wendy Woodland, TLA Director of Advocacy & Communications. “Our editorial focus is on innovative practices for school, public, special, and academic libraries; however, we also want to connect with our readers by sharing personal stories from library professionals. I was drawn to [this] article because it did such a wonderful job of describing the experience of a first-year librarian; not only demonstrating the career path [taken], but highlighting the importance of networking and mentors.”  The article was featured in the 2018 Texas Library Journal Spring Edition.

“It is a privilege to work with new professionals who have the passion and work ethic to implement and effect a positive change,” says SISD Lead Librarian, Nicole Cruz. “Wenndy Pray is dedicated to revitalizing the B. L. Gray Junior High Library and its programming. Mrs. Pray has a special gift to connect to people including students, staff, colleagues, and parents.” Mrs. Cruz was Mrs. Pray’s mentor during her first year as librarian. “Mentoring is one of the most valuable gifts an experienced teacher, librarian, counselor, or administrator can provide. It is an important key to developing future successful educators.” As part of her mentorship, Mrs. Cruz exposed Mrs. Pray to many facets of the librarianship community. When asked how it felt to be featured in Mrs. Pray’s article, Mrs. Cruz said, “I'm very humbled to be included on the article.  I do what I do because I love being a school librarian; I truly believe that a strong library program and passionate, hard-working librarian influence academic and social success for students.”

Mrs. Pray began her career as an educator in 2008 and has been with Sharyland ISD since 2013. “I’m grateful to be a part of a distinguished district and to work among the best librarians,” says Mrs. Pray. “I’m also privileged to have had a great mentor and positive examples in my peers.  I look forward to serving students alongside them for many years to come.” Mrs. Pray was also featured as the Texas Library Association 2018 April Member of the Month.