That would be me, Kiera Parrott. I am the Head of Children’s Services at Darien Library in Connecticut where I spend my days working with children of all ages- babies to tweens- their parents, caregivers, teachers, and assorted other grown-ups.
I love finding new and surprising ways for children to discover stories, read stories, draw stories, write stories, film stories, and create stories. Whether that happens on the printed page or in the digital realm depends on the type of story and the type of kid!
I believe in the power of play and the magic of imagination. I believe children are the future; treat them well and let them lead the way. Oh, wait, that’s a Whitney Houston song. But wouldn’t the world be better off with children at the helm?
Statement of Philosophy
Children are born with an innate and near-insatiable curiosity about the world around them; it is my job as an educator to cultivate and stimulate this natural affinity for knowledge. I believe the goals of education- in a classroom, within the walls of a library, or out in the reaches of the digital world- are to:
- Help children grow into empathetic, culturally literate citizens.
- Help children become critical thinkers, capable of evaluating various forms of information and media.
- Give children the tools and skills with which to become content creators.
- Inspire a desire and passion for lifelong learning that extends beyond the library, beyond the classroom, and weaves itself into the fabric of the essential self of each student.
I see my role as that of a partner: a collaborator and a guide working in tandem with each child as they navigate their own education. I strongly believe that the best learning happens when teachers teach students– not subjects. This extends from my belief that each child learns differently and has a preferred learning modality. By discovering each child’s learning style, figuring out their unique motivations, and offering a variety of ways to explore a given subject, learning becomes a collaborative process that empowers each child to take an active role in their education.
I believe the best environment to achieve these goals and nurture the necessary relationships between educator and child is through a culture that
- emphasizes cooperative learning;
- focuses on problem-solving and inquiry;
- gives children the time, space, and support to explore reading, writing, speaking, and listening using a variety of tools and means;
- values diversity, community-building, and social responsibility.
An understanding and philosophy of user-centered service has come to define my work as a public librarian. I view each child as a distinct user with unique tastes, learning styles, and research needs. The books, technology, and resources that would satisfy one child may not necessarily work for the next. It is with this deep respect for the whole child that I strive to create learning spaces full of discussion, exploration, creation, reflection, and a healthy dose of good humor!