Farmer, Lesley S.J. 1949–
Farmer, Lesley S.J. 1949–
PERSONAL: Born June 15, 1949, in Spokane, WA; daughter of Leslie Harlan (a lawyer) and Emma Cecilia (a teacher) Johnson; married Alfred Clarke Johnson, Jr., September 15, 1973 (divorced May 1, 1974); married Mark Lesley Farmer (an artist), May 22, 1982; children: (second marriage) Christopher Johnson. Ethnicity: "Swedish-American." Education: Whitman College, B.A., 1971; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, M.S., 1972; Temple University, Ed.D., 1981. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, singing, artwork, travel.
CAREER: Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, MD, information specialist, 1972–73; Singer Business Machines, research technical librarian, 1974–75; U.S. Peace Corps, Washington, DC, instructor and librarian in Tunisia, 1975–77; Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, media specialist, 1977–81; Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, assistant professor of library media, 1981–82; Memorial Library of Radnor Township, Radnor, PA, young adult specialist,1982–83; library director at a school in San Anselmo, CA, 1984–93; College of Marin, Marin, CA, reference librarian, 1996–97; high school library media teacher in Larkspur, CA, 1993–99; California State University, Long Beach, began as associate professor, became professor of library media, 1999–. Adjunct faculty member at San Jose State University, 1987–90, 1998–99, Dominican College, 1990, 1996–97, University of Hawaii, 2003, and University of Hong Kong, 2005–06; conference participant. Arroyo Seco Library Network, board member. Active in civic organizations.
MEMBER: International Association for School Librarianship (assistant editor), American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians (regional director, 1999–2003), Young Adult Library Services Association (member of board of directors, 1994–96; past chair of Educators of Library Media Specialists Section), Association of Library and Information Science Educators, Special Libraries Association (editor, 2003–), Computer Using Educators, California Library Association (editor, 1992–94; president of information technology section, 2002; and young adult section, 2003–04), California School Librarians Association (vice president, 1999–2001), Phi Beta Delta.
AWARDS, HONORS: Named technology librarian of the year, California School Library Association, 1997; awards from California Library Association, 2000, 2003, and American Association of School Librarians, 2001, 2003; Gold Disk Award, Computer Using Educators, 2005.
Cooperative Learning Activities in the Library Media Center, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 1991, revised edition, 1999.
(With J. Hewlett) I Speak HyperCard, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 1992.
Creative Partnerships: Librarians and Teachers Working Together, Linworth (Worthington, OH), 1992, revised edition published as Partnerships for Lifelong Learning, 1999.
Young Adult Services in the Small Library, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 1992.
When Your Library Budget Is Almost Zero, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 1993.
Leadership within the School Library and Beyond, Linworth (Worthington, OH), 1995.
Workshops for Teachers, Linworth (Worthington, OH), 1995.
Informing Young Women: Gender Equity through Literacy Skills, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 1996.
Training Student Library Staff, Linworth (Worthington, OH), 1997.
(With Will Fowler) More than Information, Linworth (Worthington, OH), 1998.
Go Figure!: Math Power through Sports, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 1999.
Teaming with Opportunity: Library Media Programs, Community Constituencies, and Technology, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 2001.
Student Success and Library Media Programs, Libraries Unlimited (Englewood, CO), 2003.
How to Conduct Action Research, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 2003.
Technology-Infused Instruction for the Educational Community, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2004.
Digital Inclusion, Teens, and Your Library: Exploring the Issues and Acting on Them, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2005.
Librarians, Literacy, and the Promotion of Gender Equity, McFarland and Co. (Jefferson, NC), 2005.
Information Literacy and Assessment, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), in press.
Contributor to books, including Evidence-Based Practice in School Library Media Programs, Hi Willow (San Jose, CA), 2003; Digital Resources and Librarians: Case Studies in Innovation, Invention, and Implementation, edited by P. Lubutti, American Library Association (Chicago, IL), 2004; and Educational Media and Technology Annual, edited by M. Fitzgerald, Libraries Unlimited (Westport, CT), 2005. Editor of technology column in CSLA Newsletter, 2001–. Contributor of more than 100 articles to periodicals, including Education Research Quarterly, Teacher Librarian, New Review of Children's Literature and Librarianship, School Librarianship Worldwide, Academic Quarterly Exchange, Reference Services Review, Collection Management, and Journal of International Library and Information Science. Editor, CSLA Journal, 1997–2000, 2002–03, and Education Libraries, 2003–.
SIDELIGHTS: Lesley S.J. Farmer told CA: "I coordinate the Library Media Teacher (LMT) program at California State University, Long Beach. I develop and manage the curriculum, teach and advice my hundred-plus program candidates, oversee adjunct faculty, and work with the rest of the university campus. That requires loads of communication. As a university professor, I am also expected to conduct scholarly and creative activities, and to provide university and community service. My greatest commitment is to my students. I spend hours designing and delivering face-to-face and online instruction, as well as communicating with them about their work. It's worth the effort, because they exit as prepared LMTs; that's what the graduates and their employees tell me.
"Typically I write daily: reports, memos, letters of recommendation, articles, or books. And then there's email…. When I finished writing three books on librarianship in 2004, my keyboard wore out. The rest of my day consists of meetings, administrative duties, research, and teaching preparation. I teach Saturdays and online, so there is no typical day, just lots of work.
"I decided to become a writer when I was six. My first short story was about a dog family where the father was a cocker spaniel, the mother was a poodle, and the baby was a collie (biology is not my strong suit). I started writing poetry in third grade and reached my apex in high school. My fantasy is to write young adult novels (I have plots for more than ten of them), but I keep writing library science professional books. At this point, I am usually asked to write a book by an editor. Each book takes lots of research and note-taking. When I start writing, I discover gaps in my research, so I keep on finding new information to weave into my writing. In a way, deadlines are my friends, because they make me stop researching endlessly.
"I decided to become a librarian when I was ten. That summer I was a latchkey kid who was dropped off at the main public library at 9:00 a.m. and was picked up at 5:00 p.m. When a boy asked the librarian for a book about a dinosaur and a little boy, and she didn't know the title, I piped up, 'You must mean The Enormous Egg by Oliver Butterworth.' That was the desired book; I figured that librarianship was something I could do easily. Of course, my first goal was to become an academic research librarian. In a way, I fulfilled my dream, as I research good resources for my classes and conduct studies about librarianship, but I never would have guessed that I would also work in public libraries, school libraries, special libraries, even in overseas libraries with the Peace Corps. Obviously, my library experiences are the basis for my writing.
"My research interests include collaboration, information literacy, and educational technology. I am also interested in gender issues relative to these topics. Basically, I start asking questions about the world around me, and then I do research to find the answer—and write to share my findings."