Hello! I’m Barbara Stripling, joining your group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States at the invitation of Darryl Toerien. I am thrilled to find a group of colleagues who are as passionate about inquiry as I am. I look forward to our conversations and opportunities to learn together.
I have a long career as an educator and school librarian/library administrator/library educator. I started my career as an English and drama teacher, then moved into the library after acquiring an additional Master’s degree. I wanted to be a librarian because I wanted to teach and try to inspire all the students in the school, not just the students in my classroom. I found my passion as a librarian – to teach students to think, inquire, and discover the world. I have always held that vision of creating independent learners as the core of every decision and action I have made as a school librarian.
I have been fortunate to have had a number of opportunities to grow in my profession. I moved from 17 years as a high school librarian to a library grant administrator to a district library supervisor to director of school libraries in New York City to library educator in the Syracuse University graduate library program. Throughout this personal journey, I have explored and refined my understanding of inquiry. I started with a drive to teach students to think, first through a research process and then through a model of inquiry. I have continued to refine and build on my model of inquiry by developing an information fluency continuum that lays out the development of inquiry, literacy, social responsibility, and personal skills and dispositions for pre-K through grade 12 (the last year of high school in the United States).
I feel very fortunate to have connected with Darryl and this FOSIL Group of colleagues. I know that we all have much to learn and much to share about inquiry. Although I have recently retired from my position at Syracuse University, I have definitely not retired from my quest to impact the lives of students through inquiry.