Member of the Month

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Leah Mann

Leah Mann 
Library Media Services Instructional Specialist, Lewisville ISD 

Professional experience
I graduated from the Universtity of Texas at San Antonio in 2001 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Spanish. I began teaching 6th grade science in Seguin, Texas at the Erskine 6th grade center; I taught 4th grade at Lackland Elementary on Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio where my husband Scott and I were stationed; in Montgomery, AL, and I taught 3rd grade at Maxwell Elementary on Maxwell Air Force Base. We were living in Montgomery, and about to move to our next base in Nebraska, when I decided to be a teacher librarian.

Moving around to different places, interacting with a variety of curricula, and working with a diverse group of ages, teachers, and cultures, influenced me greatly. I loved teaching and wanted to cast a wider net with what I was offering my students and school. The library media center seemed like the perfect fit. While living in Bellevue, NE, home of Offutt Air Force Base, I taught 3rd grade at Birchcrest Elementary and earned my Masters in Elementary Education with a School Library Endorsement at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

In 2007, my husband and I moved to the Dallas area where I began my library career in Lewisville ISD. I worked at Bluebonnet Elementary for six years before moving to Killian Middle School for two years. This year marks an exciting transition for me as I have begun a new position working in support of our district's 70 librarians as the instructional specialist for the department. During my time in Lewisville, I have had the honor of presenting at TLA, TCEA, and SXSWedu, as well as served on steering committees for TCEA, ESC11, and facilitated a webinar on coding in the library for TSLAC. I am currently serving on the Programming Committee for TLA annual conference 2017, and I cannot wait to see what comes to fruition from this team! 

Innovative library practices
I am a maker librarian and have been thrilled by the takeoff of the maker movement over the past few years. I can't think of a more exciting time for our profession. We are providing exhilarating opportunities and possibilities for students and patrons via 3D printing, coding, electronics, you name it.

As a school librarian I am especially passionate about what makerspaces offer our students as we prepare them for the future job market. When our library users have access to new technologies that they may not have otherwise, we are setting the stage for the next big invention, idea, or theory. Who knows- we may be introducing the next Steve Jobs to the resources needed to invent the next level of smart phone or beyond.

Favorite literary character or book
Call me old fashioned, but how can I choose between Jo March and Anne Shirley? I have always felt deep connections to both. I am drawn to spunky characters. Even as an adult I love to revisit their adventures. I think their qualities are timeless.

Most memorable TLA experience
My most memorable TLA experience has been TALL Texans, without a doubt. (Shout out to #talltx15!) The lifelong friendships I made are priceless. I learned more in those three intensive days from Jack and Maureen, our mentors, and classmates than I probably have in my career to this point. I left that experience with a deeper understanding of my role as a leader, and a true connection to others in my profession. I loved that all libraries were represented, and even though our clientele or spaces may vary, our mission is very much united. The different perspectives renewed my sense of purpose and have helped me navigate my new position and encounter new challenges. I eagerly anticipate reuniting with my TALL family at the TLA Annual Conference in 2016. 

Created on Oct 1, 2015 | Last updated November 03, 2015