Mrs. Anne Jones has been at McNicholas High School since 1999. She has worked as an English and Journalism teacher in the classroom in the past, but is now the Librarian and Webmaster, as well as the Student Council moderator and VIRTUS facilitator.
As Librarian, Jones runs the library, checking in and out books and tablet chargers for students and teachers, dealing with late fees when library materials aren’t returned on time, creating displays around the library, and making sure the shelves are always stocked with interesting and gripping novels. As Webmaster, Jones operates the McNicholas webpage. This involves reviewing any articles that are posted there, making sure the layout stays neat, and basic maintenance and additions that keep the website up to date. She meets with Student Council at least once a week to work with their projects, and makes sure that any visitors to McNick are VIRTUS trained and safe for the school environment.
In addition to these main roles, Jones also works with teachers in helping to think up class projects, plan them, run them, or gather materials for them. While this may not seem like a glamorous task, it is quite time consuming, and simply gathering materials in the school building for one project can easily take up one block day period. In addition, teachers can bring their classes to her and she can teach them about proper research tactics, citing, etc. Furthermore, she encourages students to seek her out when they need help with research, citing, or finding books.
“I see myself as a support staff member. It’s my job to support students in their learning and teachers in their teaching. It’s a difficult job, I think, since it requires people to come to me and for me to get myself out there,” Jones said. “I don’t get to build relationships with students like I did in the classroom.” She said she misses these relationships because students don’t feel comfortable approaching her.
“I see it as my job to encourage reading and information literacy,” Jones continued. This involves making sure people are learning and utilizing computer and internet skills. She also wants to keep reading fun and interesting, and she wants people to feel comfortable and excited to come into the library.
As for a set work schedule, Jones doesn’t really have one. She is at the school from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., but what she does in those hours isn’t as set in stone as a teacher or student’s schedule. Other than a Monday morning meeting with the Communications Team, she simply has a list of objectives that she needs to complete and dates that each needs to be completed by, so she is very self-driven. She doesn’t have a specific schedule like teachers and students have. If a problem comes up that needs her attention, she is able to stop whatever she is doing and solve that problem, whether it be a pop-up meeting or checking out a book for a student. “Every day is just different. I never quite know when I walk in the door what it’s going to be,” she said. Because of this, a basic day passes at a fairly steady, but not rushed, pace. Also because of this unique work schedule, Jones is able to work with and go on more retreats in an effort to connect with students more, and she appreciates that opportunity greatly.
Of course, Jones can’t run the library on her own, so she has Library Assistant Mrs. Jane Ray to help her. “I love that I have her. She is such a wonderful help to me,” Jones said. In addition to standard library responsibilities, Ray, who has been at McNick since 2013, works with accumulating and purchasing books for the library, and stays to run the library after the school day is over. Also, among the two of them, they have read a large number of the books in the library, so they can always help with recommending a book to students.
Simply put, while Jones is not seen as a direct part of the teaching force of McNick, she definitely is still important, and without her, the library and school website would quickly fall apart, and many teachers would likely struggle in their work. “I really love my job. I enjoy being here in the library. It’s a lot of fun [but] I do miss parts of teaching, mostly the effect of building strong relationships [with students],” she added.