Teaching in a New Reality: Caroline Bartels, Horace Mann School (NY)

By Spenser Stevens | April 16 2020 | General

“What has made all of this distance learning work, is how responsive academic publishers and database companies to the needs of so many of us trying to work with our students and to keep the learning happening. I’ve had four different student research requests this morning and, for the most part, I’ve been able to help them find resources through what we already have access to or through the things we are able to trial in this period. We are all just one tiny step ahead of where we need to be, which feels hard and disorienting right now, but I know that students and faculty have been counting on the librarians to help sift through the overwhelming amount of data out there to help them and their students. It will get easier as we all get used to it.”


Caroline Bartels began her career as a librarian in the 5th grade when she ran a lending library out of an extra desk in her classroom, complete with book reviews and a fine system. More formally she pursued her love of reading and literature at Fordham University earning an MA in Modern British and American Literature and then followed that with an MLS from Queens College. She worked as a Young Adult librarian for New York Public Library for four-and-a-half years before being told about the opening for a librarian at Horace Mann School in the Bronx, finishing with NYPL on a Saturday and starting at Horace Mann on a Monday. She’s been at Horace Mann for 23 years, the last 14 as the Head of the Middle & Upper Division Katz Library. She has shepherded Horace Mann’s annual Book Day every spring for the past 23 years, and she can honestly say that she wakes up every day happy to go to work.