Secrets from the world of books
Poth Independent School District librarians Karla Brysch and Brenda Mutz
By Kalynn Garza
Our school has two librarians that tend to our every need with only a “thank you” for their hard work. Most people think they just sit there at their desks waiting for a person to check in, turn in, or check out books; however, that’s not what really happens. The librarians work their hardest to make sure we have new books to check out and that they’re in new condition for us to read over and over again.
How do you handle dealing with all three campuses?
Brenda Mutz: “I actually enjoy the mixture of all fourteen grades and the chaos that comes with it. We do work with the teachers and have a regular weekly schedule with flexible time for class research and last minute visits.”
Karla Brysch: “I really enjoy working with all three campuses. It is hard to keep up with the latest, greatest books at all levels, but we have great kids here in Poth that keep me informed when ‘new’ books hit the market. I like being able to see the kids return every year and see their love of reading grow.”
What made you want to become a librarian?
Mrs. Mutz: “I first started at Poth ISD as a substitute teacher. On my conference period or free time, I would volunteer here at the library shelving books and whatnot. I got to know Mrs. Rice, the librarian at the time, and when an opening came up, it was a no-brainer. I have always loved reading books. I went back to college (it is never too late) and here I am.”
Mrs. Brysch: “My love of reading!”
Is being a librarian everything it sounds like?
Mrs. Mutz: “Some people think that we just sit around and drink coffee and read books all day. We do work really hard and try to make the library a welcoming place for the teachers and all students. Of course you have to love to read and like working with children. When we get a new shipment of books that comes in, it’s like Christmas! In other words, yes, it is everything that it sounds like.”
Mrs. Brysch: “Well, most people think that all we do is “drink soda and read books” all day, but that is so not true. We have many things to do in order to keep things running smoothly in the library. There are actually thirteen steps to go through just to get one book ready for the students to check out. We have to order new books, plan activities for classes, assist teachers in finding information for the classes, and help students with research projects. The other thing that we do is shelve, shelve, and shelve books. The students at Poth ISD read a lot!”
Does being a librarian take away from your life outside of school?
Mrs. Mutz: “No, not really. There are times when I have to be at school later than usual, but it is actually a pretty good gig. You just have to learn to balance things.”
Mrs. Brysch: “Only if you count the fact that I would rather read a new book than wash dishes or do laundry!”
How has the library changed since CSCOPE?
Mrs. Mutz: “As a library’s point of view, it has actually helped me in my job. I am able to look at the year that is laid out and plan what type of activities that will correspond to what the students are learning. I can also plan on what books that we need to purchase for the library to assist the teachers in their curriculum.”
Mrs. Brysch: “We are able to look up the lessons in CSCOPE and be more proactive in helping the teachers find what they need.”
What are the types of books kids/teens usually take out?
Mrs. Mutz: “You will always have Junie B. Jones and The Magic Tree House books checked out. Captain Underpants, the Bluebonnet Books, and Goosebumps, with the elementary kids. For teens, The Lone Star and TAYSHAS books and anything in a series.”
Mrs. Brysch: “Elementary loves Junie B, Magic Tree House, anything mystery, and of course, the Bluebonnet Books. Junior high tends to go for more of the realistic fiction and fantasy books. They also like anything that comes in a series. High school kids (those that still read for pleasure) like vampires, romance, and sports books.”
This is how the librarians, whom we take for granted, use their time instead of sitting down reading a book and drinking coffee or soda. They do so much for us in a big way that we don’t even understand or see.
Kalynn Garza is a junior at Poth High School. This junior journalist is a member of the FCCLA and the Poth Pirate Band. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Garza competes in UIL Journalism events and plans to attend college after high school.