When Linda Spence became the newest addition to the Oliver Wendell Holmes (OWHL) staff on April 22, she was actually returning to a familiar place. While three of her children attended Andover, Spence served in the Theater Department box office and as an OWHL librarian from 2001 to 2003.
After leaving Andover, Spence pursued a Master’s in Library Science at Simmons College and became an English teacher and a librarian at the Pike School, where she continues to teach.
“I have wanted to be a librarian since I was very young. As a child, I organized my books and created library cards so that my younger siblings could borrow them,” said Spence in an email to _The Phillipian_.
Now, as an Andover librarian, Spence hopes to not just help students find information, but also to push students to ask more questions in order to teach them how they can research in the future.
“[The Internet] is a double-edged sword. Some things are fabulous, and we have access to so many more things than we used to, quickly. You don’t have to do inter-library loans; you can just get it online,” said Spence.
“But at the same time, there’s that old analogy that getting information now is like drinking from a fire hose. It’s too much, so that skill of weeding through it and making savvy choices about what to spend your time looking at becomes all the more important. Just even knowing where your sources are coming from,” she continued.
Coming into the position, she was most excited about the challenge. “Right now I work with pre-K to ninth grade; it’s just a continuum… because I work with younger kids most of the day as a librarian and teacher at Pike, the thoughts, the questions and the theses [students at Andover] come up with are on a whole different level.”
According to Spence, her extensive experience with a wide age-range of students has given her an insight into where kids are coming from and what skills they will need to be here and to succeed later on. Now, working at Andover, she enjoys the sense of humor that high school students have and simply loves all the information that flows around her and always being able to learn new things.