Get to know Kristy Rieger (MS '14), K-12 library/information specialist

Kristy Rieger

Kristy Rieger (MS '14) credits her iSchool advisor with steering her on the right path toward her career. The School's MS/K-12 Library Information Specialist Licensure program combines top-rated classroom instruction with extensive field experience in school libraries across the state of Illinois. Applications are due by February 15 for fall or summer admission to the program.

Where do you work and what is your role?
I currently serve as the library/information specialist at Highcrest Middle School in Wilmette, Illinois. I previously served as a library/technology coordinator in Chicago Public Schools.

What do you like best about your job?

My new role offers a more flexible model rather than fixed classes, which I've had in the past. I like having the freedom to visit classrooms and truly observe students researching outside of the library. It can be eye-opening! Now I'm more accessible to the students and can provide more responsive, differentiated instruction. It makes a difference. 

How did the iSchool help you get to where you are today?

Halfway through my initial degree, I took a personal break to refocus and assess what I needed in my career. When I decided to rejoin the program and change to the Certificate of Advanced Study/K-12 path, the School's advisors were eager to help. They helped apply my previous credits toward my new path and suggested class options that would fill deficits. I felt reassured that I made the right choice. I'm so grateful for the advisors who listened to my personal challenges and made it work for me. This program truly wants to help students on AND off campus. 

What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?

Take advantage of the professional development and scholarship opportunities provided by the iSchool—even if you are off campus.  The K-12 program is full of excellent people to network with, especially when job searching. Also, stay connected! This year I was excited to learn that two K-12 alums and an iSchool faculty member were librarian colleagues in my new district. This connection really helped during my transition.

 What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I love to cook and craft. I'm trying to spread my love of both to students as my school moves towards a Learning Commons model. Librarians are the soul of the Maker Movement in schools! I'm also a huge Google nerd, and I'm working towards becoming a Google Certified Innovator.

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