- Shepard Middle School
Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran named 2021-2022 Media Coordinator of the Year
Bhuvana Ramachandran loves reading and research so much that while she was a parent volunteer in the library at her daughter’s school, she befriended other fellow parent helpers and they all decided to go back to school to earn their Masters in Library Science degree. Having started her career as a computer programmer well after raising her children, it was as if the universe was preparing her for her media coordinator role. She is so well-suited for the work that her peers have named her Durham Public Schools’ Media Coordinator of the Year.
Known as Mrs. R to her students and colleagues, she has been a medical librarian for Inova Alexandria Hospital in Northern Virginia, a media coordinator in Chatham County, and the staff member who volunteered to train students for Quiz Bowl, Brain Game, and the Duke Biography Tournament. Her passion for research carried over to the students and propelled them to first and second place wins in the State High School Quiz Bowl competition.
“Being able to direct people to the proper resources is something I love,” said Ramachandran. “Everyone must be provided the information they need to learn.”
For media coordinators, the work is accountable to the American Association of School Librarians’ core values of learning, innovation, equity, diversity, inclusion, intellectual freedom, and collaboration.
“I believe that the school media centers are the backbone of an educational system in a democratic society. I am here to provide resources to teachers, students, and the learning community from an unbiased perspective,” she said.
Mrs. R. said that while the basis of the work is library science, she and her colleagues must have a high understanding of advancement in technology, information overload, social media, and data breaches, thus the reason their titles have been updated from librarians to media coordinators.
“Because of the change in how we provide information, we need to be aware of these changes and look out for them. I tell my students that if they go on the internet, security breaches are possible and can compromise people’s livelihood and integrity,” she said. Ramachandran teaches lessons to students that include how to access the library system, how to log in, look for books, and order books independently.
But she notes that the most important responsibility she has is to read to her students. For Mrs. R., reading and literacy are accomplishments. With an objective of ensuring that her students are well-read and literate, she makes it her business to find out what her students like to read and engage with them about the books.
“Engaging the students in literal conversation is such a nurturing thing. They know that I value them.”
She yearns every day to serve all of the students and says they love visiting the library to check out books.
“Everyone is a learner, and learning is perpetual,’ said Ramachandran.