As an elementary educator for most of my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with a variety of learners—from inner-city students in North Carolina to university-level students in Chicago—but I found my true calling as the librarian at Hubbard Woods Elementary in Winnetka, Illinois. I’ve been called the “Willy Wonka of school librarians” because I transformed our traditional library into what I call an IDEA (Innovation, Design, Engineering, and Art) Lab complete with flexible furniture, robotics, engineering tools, iPads, laptops, and sewing machines.

To get started, I used my experience as a classroom educator to create a cross-curricular library curriculum...

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  • About the Author:

    Todd Burleson is a library media specialist in the Winnetka School District in Winnetka, Ill. School Library Journal named Burleson the 2016 School Librarian of the Year. Read his blog here, and follow him on Twitter @todd_burleson.