Meet Britannica

June 16, 2016

With the American Library Association (ALA) Orlando Annual Conference around the corner, I thought it would be fitting to introduce you to a key member of our team, who's unique background as a library media specialist and classroom teacher allows her to know the day-to-day struggles and triumphs that educators face. Because of this experience, she can truly relate to our customers’ needs.

Meet Pam Renfrow! Curriculum Specialist

Q&A:

Tell me about your background... I grew up in a small town where the sign at the city limits reads “2000 Happy People and a Few Soreheads.” I was the first of my family to attend college, become an elementary school teacher, and began my career teaching kindergarten. I loved learning and teaching, and furthered my education with a Masters in Elementary Education and a second Masters in Library Science. Over the years, I have seen many trends in education come and go. Advances in technology have been the greatest contributing factor to changes in educational methodology. The one constant, I have always seen as important, is belonging to a professional learning network. The support colleagues can provide one another is invaluable. I have been actively involved in professional organizations by presenting at conferences, volunteering for committees, and holding offices at state and national levels. I am currently serving on the AASL Board of Directors, as Director of Region 4.

What does a typical day as a Curriculum Specialist look like? My role as a Curriculum Specialist is very interesting in that each day is challenging yet different from the day before. This morning, I may be speaking with a Director of a public library system in Florida and demonstrating features of Britannica Library through a live webinar. In the afternoon, I may be demonstrating the benefits of ImageQuest to the Instructional Technology Coordinator of a school system in Oregon. In between those calls, I could be organizing a webinar for school librarians, reviewing a new product, designing lesson plans, or keeping current with educational trends through social media.

In the time I've worked at Britannica, I have found the products are continually being enhanced, and features are being added to improve the customer experience. To stay current, I spend part of each day exploring our products, using them as our customers would.

What is your most prized possession? I have never put much emphasis on tangible items. My parents grew up during the Great Depression and taught me “you can’t take it with you”. As I look around my home, it is not the “things” that make me smile; it’s the memories and the relationships with people that surround the objects that are fulfilling. Whether it is the first piece of jewelry that my husband gave me when I was sixteen, the plastic sewing box that I have used since 4-H in fourth grade, or the brick from a dear friend’s fireplace in a room where we spent many Sunday evenings with friends, the value is in the experience.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be? My first response would be you. Whoever you are! We all have a fabulous story to tell and I would like to hear yours! However, I realize you want a specific person. Inventors and the thought of having an original idea, and the where-with-all to follow it through have always fascinated me. I came across an interesting article, “When America’s Titans of Industry and Innovation Went Road-Tripping Together” and immediately thought, “Now that would make a great dinner party!” Can you imagine being at the table with President Harding, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone? What a lively conversation! Count me in!

Pam will be at the 2016 American Library Association (ALA) Orlando Annual Conference on June 23-28th in Orlando, FL. Stop by BOOTH #2011 and meet her in person or feel free to connect with her @RenfrowPam on Twitter.