This month, we have a new employee to introduce to everyone. Julee Murphy has joined the User & Research Services team as Education Specialist, and we are so happy to have her on board! Julee came to us from the Early Childhood Development Center here on campus where she served as a librarian. Read on to learn a little more about Julee.
Where are you from originally?
I am a West Texan by birth but I have lived most of my life in Kingsville and Corpus Christi. I have lived in many different states but Corpus is my long term home.
You’ve worked as a school librarian at the Early Childhood Development Center for quite a while. What was that like?
Working as librarian for the Early Childhood Development Center school was to say the least, action packed. I oversaw all book selection, purchasing, cataloging, processing, and circulation. It meant running a lot of daily reports. Not only did I need accurate circulation records, but I also ran daily reports for the Accelerated Reader program which I oversaw for our school. It was my job to keep the students and teachers motivated about reading. I created a lot of visually eye catching or humorous book displays. I conferenced with every child to came in to select and return books. The students knew I cared about each one of them. We always ranked in the top two schools for Accelerated Reader success with 100% of students achieving their goals almost every six weeks. I also taught Digital Citizenship and Cyber Safety Awareness. CCISD recognized me as one of its high performing librarians in this field. In addition, I also taught weekly librarian lessons, performed multiple read-alouds, and planned reading celebrations.
You are a founding member of Teen Bookfest by the Bay. That’s such a great event. How did you get involved with that?
I was one of several like-minded librarians who were very concerned about multiple reports that came out listing Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend as one of the most illiterate places in the country. The reading scores looked pretty dismal in middle school up through high school and we wanted to address the issue head on. We spent a yearplanning and fundraising; we provided the first-year seed money ourselves. Since then, our Teen Bookfest has grown larger, and we have gained some dedicated sponsors. We bring in 22-25 authors to speak on panels, offer a writing workshop in collaboration with Del Mar College, and an Illustrator workshop with a Manga artist. We also partner with the Corpus Christi and Nueces County libraries who bring in STEM activities. We are always looking for new volunteers to help us continue providing literacy opportunities for middle school age students and young adults.
What does the future hold for the Bookfest?
It is a continually growing and evolving festival. Our participation numbers are good and our authors have told us we are the best book fest they have attended. We like to say we treat our guest authors and illustrators like royalty. They deserve it.
You’ll be working on developing and updating Bell Library’s collection of books for children and young adults. What are your thoughts about that project?
I am passionate about building an engaging collection that supports curricular needs. I hope to develop the collection into one that education students or anyone who wishes to read juvenile literature will find exactly what they are searching for within the collection.
What is your favorite thing about libraries?
My favorite thing about libraries is seeing a library that is well used. Patrons actively searching for books or researching on computers. A place where patrons are comfortable and do not hesitate to ask for help.
What would you bring to a potluck?
My grandmother’s pineapple cake recipe. This has been handed down through generations. (This sounds amazing!)
What do you enjoy doing for fun?
To me, the best idea of fun is spending time with my grandchildren. They are such a blessing and I love every exhausting moment with them. I want to freeze time so they will stop growing.
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about Julee. Stop and say “hi!” next time you see her in the library!
Director of User and Research Services