Always a librarian “deep down,” alumna embraces goal to never stop learning
"I think I have always been a librarian deep down inside," said Judy Deichman M.S.'10. "I just needed the opportunity to bring it to the surface."
After earning a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of South Florida, Deichman worked in the field for more than 10 years before moving from Florida to Virginia. Once settled in Midlothian, she focused on raising her five children and volunteering in their classrooms.
These classroom experiences gave her the push she needed to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a school librarian. In 2010, Deichman became the first student to graduate from Longwood University's school library media graduate program with her initial teaching licensure.
"My experience at Longwood University was very fulfilling and rewarding," she said. "The classes were relevant and delivered with a fine attention to detail. Being a mother of five children, my life is full of outside commitments. The mixture of online and face-to-face classes made it possible to balance the course work."
One of Deichman's favorite courses as a graduate student was a young adult literature class. She found that reading current novels written for young adults gave her insight into what kind of literature young people consider worthy of their time.
Now a librarian at Nottoway Middle School in Crewe, Va., Deichman recently organized a promotion involving The Hunger Games. She loves that her career gives her an access point to collaborate with teachers on a variety of lessons, always incorporating a reading/literature component.
"The library is the hub of the school and offers so many opportunities to interact with the students and teachers," she said. "There is no typical day. The best moment is when you find a book for a student that kick-starts their reading, and they cannot put the book down. Sometimes it's just the spark a student needed. It is truly awesome!"
Always a firm believer that you should never stop learning or growing, Deichman is continuing her education at Longwood and is now enrolled in the university's 21st Century Learning and Leadership certificate program. The purpose of the online program is to equip leaders and instructors to prepare K-12 students with the skills, knowledge and expertise they need to work and live in the 21st century.
"The program encompasses the very goal and mantra of a librarian, so it's perfect for me," Deichman said.