“The most unique thing I do is talk to kids about the kind of books they like to read—especially the ones who enjoy the same genres I do!” says Library Aide Bobbi Harris. She is sitting in the Middle School library, chatting with eighth-grader Amelia Elmen about the books each of them is reading at the moment.
In Mrs. Harris’ nearly-17 years with Glens Falls City Schools, she has always had students’ individual interests in mind—a helpful quality when serving rapidly-growing adolescents.
“Her cooperative and ‘never say no’ attitude has given her experience in a number of different positions throughout the middle school and made her a versatile and invaluable resource to the building,” says principal Chris Reed. “Bobbi's incredible work ethic has been a significant benefit to the middle school over the many years we have been fortunate enough to have her with us.”
Presently, she has found her niche as an assistant to librarian Ann Myers. “And, once again, she is doing a tremendous job working with all students of the middle school,” continues Mr. Reed.
Mrs. Harris’ day-to-day work includes helping students find books and work through technology issues. (The Middle School has a “one-to-one” Chromebook environment, which means every student in grades 5-8 has their own computer for use during the school day.) She also ensures the functioning and daily operations of the library, monitors students and their use of resources, works with databases to catalog new arrivals, and sets up audio-visual equipment for teachers in their classrooms.
“The most rewarding part of my job is that I enjoy the variety. No day is the same,” Mrs. Harris says. “I like assisting users with research, getting to know all students, and further my skills with everyday changes in our library.”
As education has evolved over her career, Mrs. Harris has assisted with new and rapidly changing technologies. She says evolving research methods and her increased understanding of how a student learns has been important to helping students achieve their goals.
“I help create a comfortable atmosphere for all students,” she says. “This allows them to be themselves. They often help out with library duties. Not only do we promote reading, we encourage independence in being successful.”
Mrs. Harris brings a smile to her service for students—whether it be organizing library materials, or organizing the annual Turtle Coffee sale in the beginning of December to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation.
She is a graduate of Queensbury High School, and says her favorite non-work activity is crafting. “Wooden crafts, mostly, but I’m willing to try any project,” Mrs. Harris says, echoing that ‘never say no’ attitude she brings to the Middle School every day.