New librarian aims to foster student collaboration

Sophie Reeves

Wilson recently hired a new librarian who plans to foster an innovative learning environment in the school library. 

The new librarian, Daniel Catindig, who prefers to be called Mr. Cat by students, is also a media specialist. He has set goals, short and long term, for improving the integration of technology into the library. 

The plan is currently to change from a traditional public school library to a learning commons. 

“I want the school library to be a 21st century space where students develop in-demand skill sets for future success,” Catindig said. He’ll be creating a makerspace with a LEGO wall, 3D printers, coding kits, and VR systems. 

“I have two focuses, as a media specialist. The first is to have that culture of reading, whether you’re reading a graphic novel, or a nonfiction or fiction book. But second, we need to have those critical thinking and problem solving abilities, and I know every student has a device, so the goal is to take advantage of that,” Catindig said. 

Recently, Catindig added ten new iMac computers to the library in the first of many changes to the media center in the future. Aspen, creative platforms, and E-books can be accessed using these desktops. They are due to arrive in the next month.

Working with a limited budget, Catindig recognized that it is no small process to change the library drastically. “It’s not going to happen in the next week, it’s not going to happen by December. But hopefully in a year, it’s gonna be a lot different, little by little, day by day,” he stated. 

The new media center concept, as opposed to typical DCPS libraries, has been praised by many in the community. In fact, Catindig elaborated on the broadening support. “The Director of Library Programs in the District is advocating for us to do this. Now, Mr. Bargeman and I want our library to potentially be the District’s model.” •