Tech-Savvy Librarian Maintains Her Heart for Literature
A conversation with K.C. Boyd, the “Boss Librarian”
K.C. Boyd is a Library Media Specialist for the District of Columbia Public Schools and is affectionately called "Boss Librarian" by her students—a nickname that grew so much in popularity, it led her to use it as her Twitter handle. Boyd is looking forward to the 2020 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) in Miami this coming January, where she will be presenting in the new Library Media Specialist Track.
Over 20 years ago, when Boyd was busy pursuing her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS), librarians were focused on the literature and curriculum side of the job. But over the last seven to eight years, she has witnessed a movement toward greater and greater incorporation of technology.
"It started, at first, with the research databases; now, it's morphed more deeply into using handheld devices, personalized devices, and into Makerspace communities within a school."
Boyd finds the transformation of library programs into the realm of technology a necessary and essential change, yet remains an old school librarian at heart. She adds, "I love literature. I'm really there for the kids to drive the literature piece in school. But I also recognize that we live in a technology-based society, and I want to prepare my students for it."
Social media is a focus of Boyd's, and she is a believer in the old adage "Each one, teach one." She finds great pleasure in supporting others and, through belonging to many channels on social media, has accumulated followers from all walks in education. Librarians, reading specialists, classroom teachers, and even tech coordinators have approached her, asking, "I want to develop a social media channel. How do I do this?" or "My social media is not as productive as I want it to be. How can I improve it?" She shares, "It's a great feeling to support somebody as they're trying to do something that's so positive for their school, community, and kids."
Even with all the positivity surrounding technology, Boyd recognizes a trend that is a little unsettling. Many library media specialists hired today are heavily technology-based in their background but often lack an MLIS. She warns, "When superintendents do that, they're really undercutting the program as a whole, especially the literacy part of it." Her program is 60% literacy to 40% technology, and as she explains, "It's not to down technology at all with the 40%, but kids have to be able to read and enjoy reading."
About K.C. Boyd
K.C. Boyd is currently a library media specialist with the Washington D.C. Public School System. She previously worked as the Lead Librarian for the East St. Louis School District #189 in East St. Louis, IL., an Area Library Coordinator for Chicago Public Schools and a District Coordinator for the Mayor Daley Book Club for Middle School Students.
She is a second-generation educator and holds Master's degrees in Library Information Science, Media Communications, and Education Leadership. Her favorite quotes are, "Reading is the gateway skill that makes all learning possible," and "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." She is driven in her commitment to serving marginalized African-American children, young adults, and school communities.
Boyd believes that all children, despite economic circumstances, have the right to read and should have access to books that reflect themselves and encourage inquiry.
The 40th anniversary Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC) will take place January 14-17, 2020 in Miami, Fla. Registration is now open at Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC)