Name: Katy Charles
Education Background: 
BA, Anthropology, Franklin & Marshall College; MEd, School Library and Information Technology, Mansfield University; Currently working towards CAS- School District Leader, SUNY Cortland

What was your professional background before your current position?
For the last 11 years I have been a K-6 librarian at the Cortland Enlarged City School District. Previous to becoming a librarian I spent several years as a substitute teacher and teachers assistant at the Susquehanna Waldorf School in Marietta, PA. Lancaster County PA was where I was born and raised.

Describe your current position:
I am currently the School Library System Coordinator at TST BOCES in Ithaca, NY. TST covers 9 districts across Tioga, Seneca and Tompkins County. I am honored to serve the TST librarians in this capacity.

What do you like best about your work?
I am new to the position but at this point I am very excited about being a part of driving diversity, equity and inclusion in our school districts. Being in the front row to making change towards DEI is very exciting. I am also enjoying the inner workings of how the School Library System supports member libraries.

What has been your biggest professional challenge?
My biggest professional challenge was making the decision to step out of my own library as a librarian and into the spaces of others as a School Library System Coordinator. I feel empowered to serve in this new capacity.

How are you seeing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion play a more prominent role in your work environment?
This is indeed the hot topic of the day. In beginning my work in this area I have come to realize that I have a great deal to learn and I welcome every opportunity to do so.

What other organizations are you involved with?
New York Library Association, South Central Regional Library Council, School Library System Association

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
Please don't be afraid to try new things as a librarian. Librarians drive change!

Are there any tips you would like to share that have helped you get things done over the last year?
My tip would be to allow your students voices to be heard. Students when allowed, will rise to the occasion and help you guide your programs. Allow opportunities within your spaces to allow students to take on greater roles of responsibilities.

Favorite blog or website:

What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of raising a strong, independent woman in my daughter.

What would you like to learn?
I would like to learn how to garden to increase native plant populations on my 42 acres.

What are you most looking forward to doing before the end of summer?
I am looking forward to spending time along the St Lawrence River with my family in the middle of August and reading my new book Was the Cat in the Hat Black: The Hidden Racism of Children's Literature, and the Need for Diverse Books.

Congratulations on your new position, Katy!
Would you like to be featured in a Member Spotlight? It's easy!

See all previous SCRLC Member Spotlights.