Elementary School Librarian
American International School of Guangzhou
Carolyn Jeziorski is an elementary school librarian at the American International School of Guangzhou, China. Carolyn has been an educator for 22 years, the last 16 of which were in Japan, Egypt, Nigeria, and China. Her love of travel inspired her move overseas. She has taught grades 1, 2, 4, and 5 and worked as a curriculum director. While preparing to move to Nigeria, she signed up for an Ed.S. in Instructional Technology/School Library Media. In Nigeria, she managed the library while serving as curriculum director. After four years, she was looking for new opportunities. She reached out to former colleagues who recommended her for the position in Guangzhou.
Working with international students is amazing. The children come from all over the world and bring a variety of experiences and perspectives. The students are open-minded, compassionate, and caring. They also love reading. Her students are all passionate about books, asking for recommendations and reading a variety of genres. International schools are well resourced, benefiting the entire community. Carolyn’s current collection has over 18,000 titles.
One of the greatest challenges internationally is timely access to books. International schools place orders in October for the following academic year. When orders arrive, the books are already over a year old. Some countries have access to books in English, such as Nigeria, which has a rich literary community, but there are few children’s books. Another hurdle in China is that many books are not allowed to be shipped into the country. Additionally, we want to source appropriate books in our students’ own languages, which means asking the school community to bring books back from vacation for us.
Carolyn encourages school librarians to consider working overseas. The benefits are huge, the students are wonderful, and libraries are valued.