Q&A with Dale Scott

Dale As director of Ross School Library and Information Services and Senior Project coordinator, Dale Scott works closely with the students and faculty to provide guidance and resources to support the curriculum and create a successful learning environment. In this post, Dale talks about the role she plays in helping the Ross community members become successful lifelong learners.

Describe your role at Ross School.

As director of Library and Information Services at Ross School, I supervise and administer four libraries with content grouped according to grade level: Early Childhood through grade four, grades five through eight, grades nine through 12, and the senior reference library. I am also the librarian at the Upper School and coordinator of Senior Projects, which are independent endeavors that each senior presents after rigorous research and exploration.

My duties include content collection and development in all four libraries, selecting electronic resources, creating and maintaining the library website, cataloging all digital and print materials, maintaining the online open-source catalog, managing the budget and allocating funds for resources, offering readers’ advisory for the high school and faculty, and teaching research skills to students in grades six through 12 and faculty during professional development sessions.

How does your department benefit the Ross students and community?

I believe that the library is at the core of a school’s educational community; it is the heart of the school. The library is a vibrant learning community, where students are invited to discover intellectual and creative information and to learn to respect the process of inquiry-based research. It is a place of discovery, mystery, inquiry, and equality. Equal access to all materials by every member of the community is imperative.

How does your department support the Spiral Curriculum and the learning experience at Ross?

The Spiral Curriculum is supported through our library collections. At the Upper School, materials are located in the high school building, middle school building, and senior reference library. At the Lower School, the library has a curriculum-related nonfiction section and age-appropriate fiction. On both campuses, there are smaller collections in each of the classrooms. We also create web pages of resources and reserve shelves for class projects.

The Senior Project is an important part of the students’ studies and experience at Ross. Tell us about where this year’s seniors are in the process.

The Seniors have completed their Product Rubrics and are completely immersed in their projects. The deadline for preliminary approval to present is next Wednesday, November 12. This is when mentors decide if their students are far enough along in their process to complete the project on time and present in the first round of presentations in January.

This is an exciting time at Ross, and you’ll likely begin to see some of the Projects in process throughout the campus.

You have an interesting background that members of the community may not be aware of. Tell us about it.

I was fortunate to begin working at Ross several days after receiving a master’s degree in library and information science from Queens College in New York. Before that, I was the children and young adults librarian at the John Jermain Library in Sag Harbor.

However, librarianship is my second career. Before I moved to the East End, I lived in Paris and worked in theater and circus. I started out as a clown and wirewalker with the Big Apple Circus in New York City, studying with the famous funambule, Philippe Petit. I then received a Fulbright Grant to study women clowns in France, and ended up living there for 15 years.