Monday, January 18, 2010

Interview with Media Specialist, Becky Coreno

Becky Coreno

Media Specialist

Gentian Elementary School

Columbus, GA

I’m delighted to welcome a good friend and a wonderful media specialist, Becky Coreno, to my blog today. Becky is well-known in media circles for her generous spirit and her knowledge of the media center.

Becky, tell us a about yourself and your experience in the library/media center.

I have been working in a library/media center almost since birth! No, just kidding, but I have worked since ninth grade in my high school library. I worked in my college library and started an elementary school library in 1971, before I graduated from college. Today, I am in my 38th year in an elementary school media center. I started as a “librarian” with plenty of books and a few filmstrips and cassette tapes. Now I am a “media specialist” who still has books with plenty of VRC tapes, CDs, DVDs, pod casting, voice threading, computers and software titles so numerous I can easily get mixed up using them if I don’t stay focused.

You've worked in the media center for a long time. What changes have you seen in recent years, both positive and negative?

Changes…….I have been a part of so many! My personal favorite change was when Georgia automated their media centers and the OPAC was created. It is the best change for students to have their card catalog of their media centers online so they can use them anytime at home, classroom or in the media center. OPAC stands for Online Public Access Catalog. It is a big improvement over the 50 drawer older version that was supposedly in alphabetical order. The negative change is that the position of a media specialist has so many duties to perform. We are still the librarian, the information specialist, the technology specialist, the tech who is supposed to be able to fix everything, and we still have books to shelve. There is never a dull moment in the media center with hard work and plenty of fun for everyone. Yes, I still love it!

How has the emphasis on standards changed your media center?

The emphasis on standards haven’t really changed for us because media specialists have always ordered materials for curriculum. The technology standards do require more individual help for each student in working on projects and more money to purchase needed equipment and up-to-date software programs, either for research or production.

In the current economy, how are your book-buying strategies changing?

The current economy has not been a friend to the media center. It is an easy place to make quick budget cuts in staff or in ordering materials. Materials for the media center have been going up in price just like everything else. Purchases are checked several times and put in order of need because we do not have the funds to purchase everything we need.

What trends do you see in students who frequent your library?

Reading trends of students can change from school to school and year to year. Our students at the moment love the graphic novels on any subject. They would not believe I had them in the 1960s called the “classic comic books.”

What are some of the most requested topics by students?

The most requested topics for students this year have been President Obama, Gerónimo Stilton books, books about Georgia, and the graphic novels on social studies topics.

What book do you wish someone would write?

I wish an author would write about motivation for students. Why students need it and what would happen if they don’t take the opportunity to learn while in school. Let students know it is their job to learn so they can be productive adults. Maybe a time travel book would be good.

Some books Becky recently added to her collection:

A Journey through the Digestive System with Max Axiom, Super Scientist by Emily Sohn, Capstone Publishing

From the set, Economics in Action, by Crabtree Publishing:

What is Importing and Exporting?

What are Goods and Services?

What is Insurance?

What are Taxes?

What is Trade?

What is Scarcity of Resources?

Fancy Nancy: The Dazzling Book Report by Jane

O’Connor, (Turtleback-prebinder)

Veterans Day by Ansary, Mir Tamim, Heinemman-Raintree

Mysterious Cheese Thief by Geronimo Stilton (Turtleback-Prebinder)

Big Truck and Car Word Problems Starring Multiplication and Division

by Rebecca Wingard-Nelson, Enslow

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely interview! Becky reminds me of all the reasons I've always loved librarians (and maybe should have been one!). Thanks for sharing.