The Curriculum Materials Library, housed in UNLV’s Carlson Education Building, is the home away from home for professional private and public school teachers across the Las Vegas Valley. The library’s purpose is to support teachers in every aspect of their careers through reference materials, professional materials, computers and space to create decorative and educational items to fashion a unique learning experience for their students.
Although the Children’s Literature collection is one of the most popular, the most unique is the Kids and Devices collection, which includes hands-on, manipulative materials teachers can check out to use in their classrooms. Skeletons with removable parts, plastic foods and fraction blocks are just some of the items in this collection.
“These items can usually be expensive,” said Amy Johnson, head of the Curriculum Materials Library. “The collection can be helpful with a student teaching experience or if a teacher wants to try an activity before they spend money on it.”
Like their students, teachers often need space to create. The Teacher Prep Room is an open space instructors can use to complete projects, utilize two die-cut machines, laminate items and print posters. Here, prices for paper or printing are less than at local print shops and teachers have an environment to let their imaginations roam.
For Samantha Godbey, the Curriculum Materials Library will be her new home away from home as well as she takes on the role of education liaison librarian on Dec. 1. Her job will be to provide the link between the College of Education and the UNLV Libraries and with all students, from undergraduates to doctoral candidates, to help them find what they need.
UNLV Libraries Dean Patricia Iannuzzi said hiring Godbey was the clear choice. “I hired Samantha because the experience she brings as both a high school teacher and a librarian is ideally suited for the role. She understands the research needs of education students and faculty, and has the knowhow to connect them to the right resources,” Iannuzi explains.
Johnson echoes Iannuzzi’s sentiment and adds that Godbey will bring experience, passion and flexibility to her new role. “Having the teaching background does make a difference,” Johnson said. “Just being the kind of person who’s open to change and new things is going to be beneficial, because the library and the university are growing and changing.”
Godbey comes to UNLV via North Carolina, Connecticut, Eastern Russia and Northern California, and it’s for a role she has longed to play since she was a child who opened a library in her bedroom.
A Yale University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Italian, Godbey joined the Peace Corps after graduation and taught English to children in a Russian village near the Chinese border, where she was the first American visitor. She then relocated to the Bay Area, and after a hiatus as an insurance broker, she earned her master’s degree in education and teaching credential from the University of California, Berkley. She taught high school English for three years, and although she loved education, teaching wasn’t the right fit.
“I thought about the things I loved about teaching, and I realized librarianship was right for me,” she said. “Each class I took, it was perfect. It was the right thing. It was all the stuff I really liked to do.”
When Godbey begins her UNLV experience on Dec. 1 she will have office hours at the Curriculum Materials Library as well as the Lied Library in order to help all students and teachers as much as possible.
“I came to education from the belief in the power of education and helping students of all different backgrounds become successful,” Godbey said. “I’m really excited to work with everyone there.”
For more information about the Curriculum Materials Library, visit library.unlv.edu/CML