If you’ve visited the wonderful ARS library at all, you’ve encountered a bright life force known as Ms. Carey Mayo. She upholds the official title of Library Clerk, but she is so much more than that.
Ms. Mayo is a mom of four. She says that definitely comes into play working at Ann Richards. Ms. Mayo is one of the matriarchs of Ann Richards and always a wonderful person to come to if you are struggling.
Ms. Mayo is our wonderful library clerk.
“I would have to say the main thing I identify as is a mom,” Ms. Mayo said. ”That’s what I was created to be…. I do feel like, sometimes it’s just that somebody needs a hug, or needs a food or wants to talk about something going on in their life.” “[My favorite thing about working at ARS is] feeling like you actually make a difference in kids’ lives,” Ms. Mayo said. She has worked at Ann Richards for almost five years. “You see sweaty 6th graders, and then they’re standing in front of the whole school giving a professional speech. [It’s amazing] knowing that you were some small part of that.”
Ms. Mayo has a long history of working at libraries. “I was a library clerk at Patton but it was only part-time, as the kids got older I wanted to work full time,” she said. “I was very lucky to be a stay-at-home mom. I started subbing… and volunteering in the library.” These steps all led her to work at Ann Richards.
Ms. Mayo also admires what Ann Richards stands for. ”I had never given a thought to same-sex schools. It takes one huge distraction out of the equation. The same with the uniform, another distraction taken out of the way.”
Ms. Mayo shelves books.
Many will know Ms. Mayo loves music. “It’s in my soul, it’s not something that… grew with me,” she said. “My dad said I stood up in my crib and whistled before I talked.” Ms. Mayo loves to express that, filling the library office with music. “I am a singer. Anybody knows… That I get songs stuck in my head. Today’s song is the Smurf theme,” she said, beginning to sing the iconic song.
“I think that some girls are very lucky to get to go here,” Ms. Mayo said. “Some of the middle schools that aren’t doing as well, I hope that nobody here… feels lost in the crowd or unloved. The goal is for everyone to have someone… to go to.”
It’s important to her that the students feel at home and safe. “You just need a someone, [and] hopefully every girl here feels like they have a someone and they don’t get lost in the masses,” she said.
Of course, Ms. Mayo works very closely with Ms. Mauser, the librarian. “[She] is truly the Magical Ninja Librarian. I’m amazed by her every day,” Ms. Mayo said.
Ms. Mayo and Ms. Mauser are often referred to as a unit (students and teachers take to calling them M & M collectively), taking the ARS library community by storm and offering love and support to anyone who needs it. “She’ll drop anything to help. She’s been a very good role model for me in how laid back she is. I’ve learned so much from her,” Ms. Mayo said.
That being said, another part of the library is a newer addition, Ms. Mauser’s Border Collie puppy, Dipper. “Just petting a dog or cat can lower people’s’ heart rates,” Ms. Mayo said. Dipper is a therapeutic element to the school, but he’s also thrown a bit of a wrench into the library’s routine. “[The dog gate] makes me feel closed off from the girls but more come in to pet him,” said Ms. Mayo. “And he ate my carpet so that’s been a big change. He’s just a spot of joy.”
Dipper sits in Ms. Mayo’s office.
Ms. Mayo also manages the Minions (students who assist in the library) by manning the circulation desk or shelving books. “You can tell that so many of our girls have such a love for the library. Even those who aren’t Minions, this does seem to be the comfort place of the school,” Ms. Mayo said. “It’s just a cool place to be.”
Ms. Mayo is ready for the new library. “[The library] is very small and welcoming, like a living room. It looks like it’s going to be incredible, everything we want, everything we need. Well, be able to do so much with it,” she said. That said, Ms. Mayo will miss some things about the old library. “I just don’t want it to lose that heart of the school feeling.”
And hopefully, because of the students, Dipper, Ms. Mauser, and of course, Ms. Mayo, the library will remain the heart of our school for years to come.