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7 Things About Annette Counts

What inspired you to do this kind of work?

I wanted to find a way to work in a school without having tons of papers to correct! Also, when I taught at San Lorenzo High School the school librarian there, Mary Milton, was an inspiration. She was always excited about research projects and encouraged teachers to get their students into the library to read, research and think. I loved her energy and collaborative spirit.

What is your position here and how long have you worked at O’Dowd?

I’m the school librarian. I started at O’Dowd in 2005. I started working with the journalism class and teaching one period of ninth grade English. Then I went to library school – yes, there is a school for that – and became the O’Dowd librarian.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received (generally – it doesn’t have to be related to O’Dowd)? “Be still and Know that I am” (Psalm 46). At times I need to remind myself to slow down and soak in God’s loving presence.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

When Ms. A (Library Assistant Genny Arechiga) tells me to stop talking. Seriously, my favorite thing is working with other teachers and students on research projects. I learn something new with each project. I also love playing a supporting role in students’ learning. We aim to make the library a place where students can count on getting access to the resources and the studious venue they need to be successful.

What about your field or position do you think would surprise people the most? I have a friend who always asks, “Why do we even have libraries anyway?” I think people would be surprised to know how much libraries and librarians work to stay relevant. School libraries (or any library for that matter) today are not like libraries when I was a kid. Libraries are evolving to get students the tools they need to successfully access, organize and evaluate all the information that flows our way. Luckily the kids at O’Dowd get the opportunity to practice these skills all the time. We have amazing resources in print and on the databases. The kids learn how to evaluate sources from the Open Web. Teachers are committed to critical thinking and information literacy.

What is the most interesting or surprising thing about you? Nothing – I’m an open book. Obviously, I like corny jokes, which is one reason Mr. Lucas and I get along so well.

If you could rescue only one thing from your burning office, what would it be?

My bulletin board! It’s covered with pictures and drawings from students and colleagues about libraries, books, reading.

Bonus questions:

What is your favorite kind of music/what are your favorite bands?

I like alt-country bands such as Wilco. Also Ryan Adams, but one year I bought tickets to three concerts and he canceled all three. I wanted to hate him, but his music wins me back every time.

What is your favorite sports team or who is your favorite individual athlete?

The Bishop O’Dowd High School Dragons, of course, especially the volleyball team.


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