International Association
of School Librarianship

JANUARY 2016 FEATURED LIBRARIAN: Klára Szakmári

Please tell us your full name, place of work, and job title.

My name is Klára Szakmári, I work in the Budai Nagy Antal Secondary School as a teacher librarian.


Can you tell us your city and country of work?

Budapest, Hungary.


What is your favorite part of being a librarian?

My favorite part of being a librarian is to work with students in a customized, individual way; to rise their interest on different topics; conversations.


What made you become a librarian?

Why did I choose this vocation? I feel that it was the vocation which chose me. My life situation, my personality: I was always a lively type of person, loving to organize events, unfolding in community among other people. I was sure that I wanted to work with children - and to work in a library, that arose because of my mother: my father was a teacher, my mother was a librarian. 

What else could I become than a teacher librarian?I believe that the force of the example matters the most: I'm just doing my everyday work in the library, and I show this also to my colleagues in the school. That is:

- to teach library use,

- to help to evolve the information literacy with the help of library tools,

- to prepare and support school lessons,

- to deal with questions connecting to learning methodology,

- to organize school library programs like Day of Folk Tales, book auctions, Day of Poetry, reading campaigns, IASL's International Bookmark Exchange Project, A Night in the School Library etc.),

- to develop model programs for the National Library and Museum of Pedagogy,

- to evolve model documents for the teacher (librarian)s' portfolio document and about the school library pedagogy work according to the new Hungarian education qualification system,

- school library consultancy where I can provide an individual support to the colleagues.

- I direct the School Librarian’s Association in Hungary.


Isn't it already too much? 

I was doing these during many years working together with many colleagues.


Tell us about a special project you have undertaken in your work that has had a positive impact on our field.

A Witchy Night in the School Library is a project which I'd love to show more in details. A Night in the School Library is a program which I organize in every year, connecting to a national campaign in which you can take part with school library nights like this. During the Witchy Night in the School Library the main topics were witches and wizards. After a music overture and some welcoming words students had the opportunity to take part in different group and individual activities. Group activities were like quizzes about witches, to make herbal "magic" tea and ointments, to get to know healing herbs, famous women who were said to be witches, magic square quizzes, witches in the literature - and so on. For those who wanted to have an activity individually there were also many programs like witch face painting, magic tool crafts, photo and selfie making (Who's the most beautiful witch?), take a witch joke, English tongue twisters about witches, recommending books about witches, witches in the arts (exhibition with reproductions) etc.

We also had our student's favorite: to build a book domino from the entrance of the school along to the entrance of the school library - launching it using a magic wand and incantations. At the end of the day we had a surprise dinner in the dining room of the school. In addition students had a retro bedtime story slideshow about Hansel and Gretel. Just after the tale the school librarian (the Main Witch!) emitted dream with magic to the children. Next morning after waking up to the morning chant of the Main Witch we were coming back to reality: having a nice breakfast together and flying back on our witch's brooms to our School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: the secondary school lessons.


Can you tell us something interesting about you (things you like, hobbies, etc.)?

My hobby is to create marbled paper and silk. Here you can see my works on my website.



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