The Women of our School Library

A day in the life of Sharon Phelps, Melissa Bisson, and Jessica Shank

Main+display+created+by+the+three+library+faculty
Back to Article
Back to Article

The Women of our School Library

Main display created by the three library faculty

Main display created by the three library faculty

Kailey Mulcahy

Main display created by the three library faculty

Kailey Mulcahy

Kailey Mulcahy

Main display created by the three library faculty

Studying. Reading. Hanging out with friends between classes. The library is a diverse space for many purposes but have you ever stopped to see the people who made that possible? You might find Sharon Phelps, Melissa Bisson and Jessica Shank in the Library checking out your books, setting up displays or putting away books. They spend all their time working hard to make sure we have books for JDReads.

Kailey Mulcahy
Librarian Sharon Phelps

The main school librarian is Sharon Phelps. She has many jobs and tasks to do when it comes to being the librarian which requires help from others such as TAs or her library assistants Melissa Bisson and Jessica Shank. “I am married to Leon, my high school sweetheart,” Phelps started. “We have two daughters, who are both married and living on their own. In my free time, I make quilts and soap. I read and listen to books on Audible. In the spring and summer, I garden. I also grow a variety of drought-tolerant plants. I learned about xeriscaping when I lived in Grand Junction, Colorado.”Phelps has many fun hobbies on top of being a librarian.

“What led me to be a school Librarian was my passion for literacy and education,” Phelps said. “During college, I worked for 1½ years on a research project for the Director of the Library, and for 2 years I worked in the Interlibrary Loan Office. When I was a teacher, one of my greatest joys was that I taught 1st graders to read. During the summer I volunteered at the Public Library, which led to a paid position there.”

You will find Mrs. Phelps helping out everywhere around the school. “As the Librarian for our Middle School/High School Library, I help teachers and students at St. John the Baptist Middle School and Juan Diego find books to read for their enjoyment, as well as to provide support for the curriculum. I wear many hats throughout the year.
“I teach research skills to Mr. Hausser’s and Dr. Celestino’s classes, in particular how to search databases. I am a Mentor to Seniors this year. I Advise students and staff about their free reading. I work with the Student and the Faculty and Staff Book Clubs. I read reviews and purchase books for the Library. I oversee the cataloging and processing of library books and textbooks. I train and supervise staff, TAs, and Volunteers on a variety of tasks and projects. Lastly, I order textbooks for school, and oversee textbook distribution at Orientation in August, Book Checks in April and collecting textbooks in December and May.”

 

Kailey Mulcahy
The Valentines display called a blind date with a book

One of the major things students know Mrs. Phelps for is her contribution to the bookclub here at JD. “I help with two book clubs: the Student Book Club and the Faculty/Staff Book Club. My contribution is to provide snacks, help facilitate discussions, coordinate service projects, and purchase the books we read. Another service the club provides is to help with the Blind Date with a Book display, which is up now. I encourage students to come and check it out!” Mrs. Phelps does so much from gardening and xeriscaping to ordering all the books and textbooks for Juan Diego. We definitely couldn’t do it without her.

Working the library can be a busy job but having Melissa Bisson as a library assistant definitely helps. Melissa is a mother to a 19-year-old and a 7-year-old. She moves around because of military life where her father was a Marine corp and her husband is in the Airforce. “We moved here from Concord NH and have been in Utah for 3 years in March,” Bisson said. “In my free time, I love to hike, explore my surroundings and learn about all the new things I see from state to state. I love the outdoors. We also just bought a house in Eagle Mountain. It is a project home and needs several renovations. I love to plan each room and decorate it accordingly. My family is pretty awesome. I have been married for 20 years and have 2 boys, cats and a dog named Molly. She is the first dog I have ever had. We love to hike and work on the house together as a family.”

Melissa does many things as a library assistant to help keep our library available to us. “As an assistant, I recommend books, enter books into destiny, train new assistants, train TA’s, I manage most of the classroom library books, make posters for the library, do book checks, work on spreadsheets, photoshop, inventory, help with advertising faculty and student book clubs.” Without assistants like Mrs. Bisson, our library would be much worse.

Kailey Mulcahy
Library assistant Jessica Shank

Our last but not least library faculty is Jessica Shank. “I am married with one daughter who is in Kindergarten at SJBE,” Shank started. “We also have two dogs, a very old cat, and a horse. My free time is usually spent with my family, we like to camp and hike, pretty much everything outside. I ride horses with a local club in the summer.

“When I was in college I started working at Borders Books and worked there in almost every position until the chain went bankrupt and closed all their stores. Prior to working at Juan Diego, I was a stay at home mom with my daughter for a few years. When I decided to go back to work I wanted to find a job that I really enjoyed so I started looking at libraries.” Mrs. Shank was led to the Juan Diego library because of her love of reading and libraries.

“In the Library at Juan Diego,” Shank said. “I am responsible for assisting students in book checkout, keeping track of overdues and fines, assisting Mrs. Phelps with new book selections, building displays, and helping with textbook checkout. We are also working at St. Andrew during the month of January so they can transition to a new library software and re-catalog their existing books. I love working at the Library!” Juan Diego is blessed to have such amazing library assistants working in our school library.

Our library ladies are here from 7:30-3:30 every day and keep that amazing space open for us every day. Juan Diego is so thankful and blessed to have such amazing staff to keep the library perfect and ready for students to use.