by Brianna Cabral
Jessica Caron completed 3 degrees and worked in different fields before she found the one she loved, a career as a high school librarian.
“I think my background makes me a little bit different,” new librarian Jessica Caron explains, “because I do come from a very science based background.”
Out of high school, Caron started college thinking she was going to be an engineer. Realizing she didn’t have enough love for the math, she got her biology degree and taught high school for a short amount of time.
Then, she worked as a lab manager at a biology lab for 6 years. After realizing it wasn’t for her, she switched her career again and became an educational technologist.
“I realized I was working with students a bit more in the last couple years of my job at Worcester Poly Tech, and I really loved working with students.”
Her job as an educational technologist was geared towards working with the staff more than students. She really wanted to work with the students, so she went back to school, got a library degree, and came here to Hudson High.
On her first day new students and staff members welcomed her. She says it was wonderful to be up there along with all the students and to really “hit the ground running.”
Over the summer she moved some of the bookshelves and tables, so they have more space and are in convenient locations. She watched the students for the first couple of days to see how they would react to the rearrangement of the library.
“They seem like small changes, but hopefully they will make a big difference.”
Caron believes the library should be a space where the students can feel “comfortable and safe.” This is why she’s been moving the furniture around, for the students to have a library they want to use.
Students have noticed these changes. “I love her new movements with the furniture. It feels like there’s more space for us to talk with friends and do work,” freshman Daniel Cuddy says.
Even though Caron has made changes herself with the furniture and the book selection, she says, “A lot of the driving force with changing comes from the students.”
“I’d like to create an environment where people are respectful of the space, of each other, and of themselves.”
She helps to establish that environment every day in the library. She warmly greets every student that comes in.
“Hello, how are you?” Caron asks, while she’s standing behind her desk looking at book reviews on the laptop.
Immediately the student who has just walked in looks up with a smile and replies with the usual, “Good, how about you?”
Caron also interacts with students in their classrooms.
When Caron goes to classrooms, she is teaching them how to pick a good book and helping them find ones they’d like to read. Later on in the year she would like to give lessons on how to write reader responses or essays on books they have read in class.
“It’s great that there’s a book, but if we can provide the support skills for how to access that book in different ways…then that’s what helps us to move forward out of high school.”
Caron worked at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for 12 years before coming to Hudson. At colleges the libraries are very different. Working there, it’s not mandatory for the student to go to the library. Usually students go on their own, and they might not come back often. So a librarian only has that one shot with them.
At the high school Caron will see students in their classes, in the library during lunch, or in the morning, so switching to a high school was so important. At Hudson she is able to make connections with students for 4 years. She looks forward to that change.