Taylor A. Johnson
Ms. Kristen Heffern has always loved reading, and the Bearden High School library is the perfect place to share this same passion with young readers.
After working in Public Relations and Marketing in Nashville, Ms. Heffern decided it was time to follow her dream of becoming a librarian. She began this journey through internships at Alcoa Middle School, Episcopal School of Knoxville, and South Clinton Elementary School, and she is now the newest face in the Bearden High School library.
“I have always wanted to be a librarian to share my love of reading with other people,” Ms. Heffern said. “And I love when students come in and I’m able to suggest something for them to read, and they come back and say they really liked it and ask for another one.”
The students seem to share the same excitement when receiving Ms. Heffern’s suggestions. Bearden students have already experienced her help on many occasions, and Ms. Heffern has even succeeded in introducing students to books they would not usually enjoy.
“She helped me whenever I needed a second opinion on a book, whenever I wanted to find something, or whenever I wanted to check something out,” Bearden senior Charles Beeson said. “She is always helpful no matter what, but not just that, she is helpful with a warm, welcoming smile.”
That feeling has not been just one-sided either. Ms. Heffern has had the same impression when coming into contact with Bearden students and staff alike.
“Everyone here is so friendly, and all of the teachers are like a family,” Ms. Heffern said.
Ms. Heffern has also been involved in the Book Club, and the members, including Bearden junior Michaela Leib, have recognized her support in the club’s meetings.
Despite all of the excitement, there are still a few changes the library department would like to see. One of these changes includes the challenges of 1:1 technology in the school.
“They think they don’t need us since everything is online,” Ms. Heffern said. “What a lot of people don’t realize is that we have over 200 e-books available on our website.”
They are also working to make the library a more accessible and friendlier place for students. In order to get more students into the library, it is no longer necessary to have a library card to use the computers or check out books. Students are also allowed to check out three or four books at a time.
“We want it to be a safe place where kids can come and hang out with friends,” Ms. Heffern said.
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