The middle-school-Kimberly-to-grown-up-Kimberly pipeline

I’ve been reading the Future Ready with the Library posts at the YALSA blog and it’s got me thinking about the skills I was building in middle school and how they have persisted and how I’ve leveraged them throughout my career.

In middle school, I spent my out-of-school time practicing theater, reading books, and coding in BASIC. I volunteered one summer at the library. (My memory of this is that somebody at school decided I needed more to occupy me and sent me to the counselor and when she asked my interests, “reading” was the only one she could figure out how to match with a volunteer opportunity.)

In my career, I’ve been an educator and public speaker (both use my theater training), a librarian, and a web editor (HTML is pretty easy if you’ve got a handle on BASIC). I use knowledge and skills from all of these domains as a researcher, too.

It’s fun and cool to think about the connections between that me and this me.

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Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @KimberlyHirsh
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I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.


We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.