Carolyn Foote is an educator/librarian, a White House Champion of Change, provides Library design, is a keynoter, a Lilead Fellow, and the co-founder of #FReadomFighter. I’ve known Carolyn for years and we connected at SXSW EDU again. I applaud her keynoting and her passion for stopping book bans. Her story and purpose touch my heart and I know it will touch yours. Enjoy!
I’m passionate about kids as readers and learners and supporting their learning journeys. That really colors everything I do. I’m really passionate about teen and high school learners and their rights to have the information they need, their right to read, and their rights to be acknowledged as sentient beings with thoughts and feelings.
Fascinated by the intersection of technology and libraries, I centered my work on how technology can deepen and transform student learning and research. I played an introductory role in bringing one-to-one tablet devices into my district, studying the use of these tablets, providing professional development for teachers, and transforming the library into a technology and learning hub for students. An advocate for students and teachers, I have broken down barriers by supporting innovative uses of technology and social media by networking with other librarians and educators online. I employed the power of professional blogging and acted as a mentor for others in her field.
Tell us about you being an Educator/Librarian
I served as the district lead librarian in Austin, TX for 9 campuses. My interests in particular are student voice, library design, future trends for libraries, and research instruction. I have been part of a recent grant studying the use of OER (Open Education Resources) to create college courses, served on the Center for the Future of Libraries advisory board, and the School Library Media Connection advisory board, as well as writing for various periodicals.
Champion of Change
On November 4, 2021, a group of librarian #FReadom fighters organized a Twitter takeover of the #Txlege. We highlighted positive books and invited families, authors, librarians, teens, and parents to join. We shared this Information https://bit.ly/FReadom
We are committed to highlighting the positive work of librarians, speaking up in support of authors and students, and providing professional resources for librarians, teachers, or authors facing book challenges.
If you haven’t heard, HB900 passed onto the Senate floor for a vote. This bill requires vendors to rate books as well as every book sold in the past to every school library in the state of Texas. Read it here: hthttps://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88R/billtext/pdf/HB00900S.pdf#navpanes=0
Meet the FReadom Fighters via People Magazine
Longtime friends Becky Calzada and Carolyn Foote couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore listening to people undermine librarians. All over the country, a narrative played out at school board meetings claiming that diverse titles are harmful, librarians are “groomers” and children are exposed to pornographic material in school libraries.
After a Texas lawmaker, Rep. Matt Krause targeted 850 books for removal from the state’s libraries, Calzada and Foote, joined by other silent partners, started the group’s Twitter account and website, Freadom.us, which offers support for embattled librarian colleagues and guides for action campaigns. Texas lawmakers threatened to ban titles that tackled issues of race, racism, and LGBTQ themes—or that merely featured kids whose identities reflected them. Calzada and Foote formed FReadom Fighters in November 2021 to rally an army of book lovers on social media and in their communities. Using the hashtag #txlege to gain the attention of the Texas legislature, the group started sharing their counter-message. A tweetstorm of 13,000 tweets went out with this hashtag, including personal stories of books positively changing lives.
“Books shouldn’t be contraband,” says Foote. “We’ve lost our way in this contentious environment. We forgot what’s at the core of libraries: getting kids excited about reading and seeing stories that reflect their lives.”
Carolyn’s Contact Info
Twitter: @technolibrary #FReadom
I hope you enjoyed my conversation with Carolyn Foote who is a champion fighting for our kids, our teachers, our librarians, and our rights. It was such an honor to have Carolyn share her journey and her WHY with me. Please share this podcast and the post with your friends.
Make sure you check out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts and each post that the guests created. Click the logo below or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
If you haven’t read my book, Define Your WHY, now is the time. For more information about my book, go to this page or click on the image of the book for resources, questions, and links.