Teacher-Librarian Verna Grant reflects on her experiences at HHS

On any given school day, you can find Teacher-Librarian Verna Grant buzzing around the library, trying to help as many students as possible. Grant said her job entails providing assistance for library-related needs, helping students, teachers and parents with Schoology and teaching about research and library resources. 

Her journey to becoming a librarian wasn’t instant, Grant said.

“I’ve always been interested. But there was one point when I was volunteering at my kid’s school library, and I realized that I absolutely loved it,” Grant said. “That’s what I wanted to continue doing, so then I went back to school and started working towards becoming a teacher-librarian.”

Grant said she first started her job at HHS when distance learning was still in place, which proved to be a difficult experience since she was learning along with everyone else about various school platforms, Grant said.

LIVING THE LIBRARIAN LIFE: Verna Grant helps students with their library-related needs, such as with Chromebook distribution. (Photo courtesy of Joss Broward)

“It was absolutely overwhelming, but that was also because we had started Schoology at the same time,” Grant said. “So it was just a learning process for everybody, and on top of that, I was trying to help as many people as possible with Schoology.”

Through collaboration with other librarians from various FUHSD schools, Grant said she was able to persist through the difficulties that came along with starting during a pandemic, such as learning online and assisting students and teachers through Zoom.

“I reached out to the other librarians at the other sites and we kept in contact so that we were all on the same page and doing our best to help all the different sites with all of our library and technology needs,” Grant said. “I think that’s the biggest thing is just collaboration and teamwork. That’s what helped all of us get through it.”

As a result of beginning at HHS during the COVID-19 lockdown, Grant is still settling in and learning people’s names, she said. 

“Right now, I’m still just learning people’s faces and names,” Grant said. “The great thing about being back in person is that all the people I have been emailing back and forth have been like, ‘Oh, so that’s what you look like.’”

After more than a year of being in isolation from the HHS community, Grant said coming back and seeing students, as well as colleagues, was her favorite moment so far.

“Coming back this school year and not coming back during the hybrid model has been the best experience,” Grant said. “The beginning of this school year meant just being able to see everybody. And it was inspiring to see all the ASB signs all over the place.”

Grant said she enjoys her job especially because of her coworker’s willingness to assist everyone and due to the vibrant community HHS offers.

“My favorite part is the community here,” Grant said. “It’s just so welcoming. It’s different, it’s actually a breath of fresh air to be able to just be free to talk to people and collaborate with everyone.”

From teaching library media as well, Grant said the most important lesson she’s learned so far is to never be nervous to request help and to keep a positive attitude since both can be crucial for success.

“Asking for help is the way to get through it all,” Grant said. “And if anything, to smile, because it makes a huge difference, not just for yourself, but for everyone around you.”