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Shauna Johnston -librarian

Shauna Johnston, our school librarian, was born and raised in Portland and always knew that she wanted to become a librarian as she’s had a passion for books ever since she was a small girl. Her grandparents were also very captivated scholars. Her grandmother taught college and her grandfather was a minister.

” I just loved books and wanted to share them,” Mrs. Johnston said.

Mrs.Johnston attended the University of Southern Maine and did the honors program in history. She’s already been to England and Germany where she attended a boarding school. That has impacted her world views and connected her in ways that you can’t get through reading about a place in a book.

“Being there and connecting with the people is far more valuable, than reading about them in a book, as much as I love reading books,” Mrs. Johnston said.

Mrs.Johnston also speaks German, but is not as fluent as she used to be when she lived there at the age of 16. To keep up with her German, she watches films and reads books in german as there aren’t many Germans around to speak with.

On an average day, she’s all over the place doing different jobs as she might help a student print, with research material, format an app and so on. The biggest part of het job is talking to people, getting to know them, seeing what they are interested in, to find how she’s going to be able to meet their needs. Even though, she has a lot of work all year long, her job does change according to the seasons. When teachers give a lot of research projects then she has a lot more work to do. The beginning the end of year is the busiest time of the year.

The hardest part of her job is to get what’s on the shelf to represent what is in their record. She might try to look up a book to locate where it’s at but it ends up not being there, which happens when students take a book and decide they no longer want it, puts it back but at the wrong place. “It is a constant struggle,” Mrs. Johnston said.

Mrs. Johnston absolutely loves helping a student find a literature that really engages them and makes them want to read more and know more. The toughest things getting someone that hates reading to come to the library and engage so that she can make them want to read. To see that spark of joy, interest and to know that they are going to take that wisdom forward in their lives is one of her greatest joys.

“It’s a way for the dead to talk to the living,” Mrs. Johnston said.

A few things that most people don’t know about Mrs. Johnston is that she is a mother of 7 children who graduated from Thornton Academy and her youngest graduated in 2013, but none has pursued the same path career. As a little girl she saw herself as a writer and has published two history pieces. One on shell shock and the other one on two Jewish women who left their Jewish traditions to pursue social justice.

Her advice is to “never stop learning.”

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