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Sunday, January 20 , 2019, 11:48 am | Fair 62º


Marymount Turning School Library Into Hub of Learning with Renovations, Hiring of Media Specialist

In the same way that Marymount of Santa Barbara’s Pittman Library is located at the center of its 10-acre campus in the Riviera neighborhood of Santa Barbara, the school library is becoming central to student life at the junior kindergarten-eighth grade independent school.

Dana Susko
Dana Susko

Recent renovations to the library and the hiring of a dynamic library media specialist with expertise in 21st-century learning, educational media, and technology is revitalizing Marymount’s library and the way it serves the school.

"Marymount's library is home to over 18,000 volumes, large by many JK-eighth grade school standards, but the recent innovations and expertise being brought to Marymount by Dana Susko will make learning opportunities limitless," said Andrew Wooden, Marymount head of school.

Susko, who will officially be on campus full-time in September 2015, is already engaged with the life of the school and meeting with faculty, students and families at Marymount. Susko is scheduled for a Dec. 10 visit that is expected to draw a crowd.

Currently finishing her Ed.D. at Boston University, Susko is a lead instructor for both undergraduate and graduate level courses in educational technology. She holds a bachelor of science degree in secondary language arts education from Penn State University in Pennsylvania and a master's degree in library science from Kuztown University, and consults with ABC-CLIO, an award-winning front-runner in the world of innovative educational publishing.

"As a strong believer and educational leader in the importance of collaborative learning environments and the use of appropriate digital tools for different student learning styles, Dr. Susko will transform Marymount's library into a modern hub for 21st-century teaching and learning," Wooden added.

Marymount faculty and staff seem particularly excited about Susko's role as an expert in helping teachers enhance the learning in both the school library and the classroom. As a former language arts teacher, with considerable work experience in professional development, and significant time spent absorbing the ethos of several of the nation's leading institutions of learning, Susko has deep and applicable experience and will serve as an ongoing resource for Marymount's JK-eighth grade teachers and students alike.

“A great school library can be as much a resource for teachers as it is for students,” said Jennifer Hogan, middle school English teacher. “We are excited by the energy going into making our library a creative and innovative learning center and resource for every member of the Marymount community.”

The physical changes to Marymount's library are not to be overlooked. New furniture, updated technology and building upgrades are transforming the space as phase one of the school's master plan takes effect. Of great comfort to those who will forever feel the love of an old-fashioned book, the library's walls continue to be lined with thousands of books. Comfortable, child-friendly chairs beckon young students to curl up and read alongside their classmates who are researching or exploring the latest innovations in media learning. Many students participate in both kinds of learning during their time in the library. It appears that every kind of learner is both comfortable and fully engaged in Marymount's Pitman Library, making Jorge Luis Borges’ famous words, “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library,” seem especially true.

Marymount is an independent coeducational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. For more information please contact Molly Seguel at [email protected].

— Molly Seguel is the director of admission for Marymount of Santa Barbara.

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