The following speech was presented to the CDE Board of Directors by Casey Veatch during the 2013 Recognition Ceremony for school library programs that achieved Highly Effective designation:


Thank you board chair, members, and Commissioner Hammond for this wonderful opportunity. My name is Casey Veatch, I am the district librarian for Bennett Schools and I have a passion for teaching.
I know most people view librarians as uptight folks who tell people to be quiet, sit down, and not to dog-ear pages. I would like to introduce you to the next generation of librarians.
We are no longer the ones who simply store information, we are the ones who promote and celebrate it. We don’t tell our students not to use Wikipedia, we teach them how verify information. We don’t tell a kid that we don’t have a book on their research topic, we introduce them to Google Scholar, Khan Academy and iTunes U. We show our kids how easy it is to cite information with Easybib.com and then we tell them why they need to do it. We lead by example and use our iPads for more than Angry Birds. We have embraced technology while keeping true to our roots. When we are not researching the latest WEB 2.0 tools for students and teachers to use, we are re-reading Animal Farm, reading the latest Artemis Fowl book, and desperately trying to enjoy the last Vampire book just in case we can use that nugget of information to excite a reluctant reader.
We open our libraries an hour before school and stay open an hour after school because to meet the needs of our students and staff. Our libraries offer 24/7 access to our digital collections. We are ready to work with students and staff anytime inspiration hits them.
When a teacher is ready to do a research project, we help them see the benefits of Challenge Based Learning, we connect them to professionals in the field, we guide them through digital collections and we help them select traditional materials....then we kick it up a notch and show them how to enhance a paper with an embedded movie that includes an original musical score that is shared through a wiki with other student around the world…because that is what 21st century learning is all about.
And when a math teacher actually talks to us, we drop everything and create a brand new STEM class that is team taught - where information literacy is infused into every lesson.
The librarians in this room are re-writing the book on what education looks like. We understand that 21st century learning is more than being able to use a computer. It has to do with collaboration, creating and sharing information. This is why we don’t stop working when teachers and students finish researching. We show them how to use tools that are more powerful than a document and more interactive than a powerpoint. We help them publish iBooks, contribute to Sound Cloud, and share with YouTube.
As a librarian, we do so much more than teach kids how to use a library. We teach kids how to learn. We instill a love of reading, and we prepare them for life after public education. In the words of Keith Curry Lance “Powerful Libraries make powerful students.”
We collaborate, create, we innovate, we never stop learning - We are librarians and we thank you for this recognition.