MACL alumna (2012); former Teacher-Librarian, Willowbrook Elementary School; current “Information Matters” columnist for School Library Monthly; current reviewer Booklist Magazine and Canadian Materials; current contributing writer Book Links and EBSCO’s NoveList; current Co-Moderator of CLASC (Canadian Libraries are Serving Children, a network of Canadian Library Association); current CLA Book of the Year for Children Committee; current IBBY-Canada’s West Regional Representative; current Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association) Priority Consultant; Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Steering Committee
As a recently retired teacher-librarian, the MACL program provided me with an opportunity to pursue my interest in children’s literature at a higher level. I have always enjoyed reading children’s books, but discussing them in an academic setting was a whole new experience.
The multi-disciplinary approach was particularly appealing to me. With a prior degree in English, I was comfortable approaching texts from this perspective, but the addition of critical theories brought the experience to a new level. As a teacher-librarian I was also knowledgeable of current pedagogical practices, but interacting with pre-service teachers preparing to present this literature to young adults was new and valuable for me. I was also fascinated by the approach of creative writers. I learned much about publishing practices in both Canada and the United States, and while I have concluded that my talents lie elsewhere, I am happy to better understand the challenges of this field. Finally, the opportunity to take additional library science classes reinforced my original decision to enter this field—this is where I belong.
I also enjoyed being encouraged to present my research in academic venues. The UBC Graduate Children’s Literature Research Conference, given every other year, provided me with the opportunity to share my research in a safe and welcoming environment. Supported with this success, I applied and was lucky enough to be selected to present papers at the Children’s Literature Association Conference— an opportunity that would have been beyond my abilities without the MACL program.
Perhaps the greatest advantage to the MACL program, however, is the opportunity to learn from giants in this field. All of the faculty are experts in the field of children’s literature. The opportunity to work with them and learn from them was invaluable, and all were gracious in sharing their expertise.
The MACL program was an inspiring, invigorating experience that helped me to reboot my career and take it in new directions. I highly recommend the MACL program to anyone interested in children’s literature, no matter what the current stage of their career.