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Between the Lines: June Member Spotlight

Between the Lines: Member Spotlight, TLA Membership, TLA News

Liz Philippi
School Program Coordinator
Texas State Library & Archives Commission


What inspired you to become a librarian? I started volunteering as a library helper in third grade because I loved to read and the way books were put on the library shelves fascinated me! From then on, I continued to be a library helper, well into my high school years. Working with all of my school librarians just solidified my love of libraries and books.

What is an innovative practice at your library/organization (current or former) that you’d like to share with others? The Texas State Library does so many things! For my part I spent most of the pandemic creating a spreadsheet of TexQuest resources that directly connect to the K-8 Social Studies, Science, and Math TEKS. It is my hope that these documents and the resource links will help lure our educators into using TexQuest more to support their teaching needs.

If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?   The first would be Gary Paulsen, because of his depth of knowledge and insights into writing and he had a fascinating life. The second would be James Lee Burke, because he writes about south Louisiana, near where I grew up, and I would love to know where his inspiration comes from. The third would be Alexandre Dumas, because I loved his books in high school and still love reading them.

What are you reading right now? I just finished The Rose Code by Kate Quinn and am starting on The Good Left Undone by Adriana Trigiani.

What is your most memorable Texas Library Association Experience? Way back in 1997, after recently moving back to Texas, I was at the TLA conference walking through the exhibit hall when I ran into Dr. Phillip Turner. It was a big surprise since I had audited one of his classes at the University of Alabama just two years before! When I asked him what he was doing in Texas, he told me about the distance learning program at the University of North Texas where he was working. It was great to see him and reconnect and it eventually led to my getting my MLIS at UNT a few years later. It always amazes me that I see so many colleagues at all of the TLA events I attend. That networking really enriches my professional and personal life!

Anything else you would like to share? Working with children, school libraries, and librarians has been my passion for almost 40 years. The joy it has brought me is immeasurable and made my life so rich and full!

“I am a TLA member because…” I am a TLA member because all librarians are part of my “tribe” and TLA provides a way for me to be involved and active as a professional. After talking to colleagues in other states, where school librarians are not as strongly supported, I know how lucky we are in Texas to have TLA and all of the support it gives us!