Staff Profile: Emma Helsby

What is your role at the College?

I have just taken up the role of Resources and Library Teacher in the Santa Maria College Library. I’ll be in the library every Monday and Friday, teaching younger students in dedicated library sessions. I’ll also be working with the Head of Library and Information to develop online study and life skills modules for older students.

What has been the professional journey that has brought you to Santa Maria?

I started out as an English as a Second Language Teacher, working in the Intensive English Centre at Greenwood College. I also spent a year at Taylors College, teaching international students Academic English skills in preparation for entry to The University of Western Australia. I always had it in the back of my mind that I would love to work in a library, so when offered a position at the University Library at UWA, I couldn’t refuse! I then embarked on a professional Librarian qualification, which I completed in 2019. I am still working at UWA part-time and am looking forward to combining my library experiences with my teaching background for my role at Santa Maria.  

What philosophies do you hold about the use and function of libraries in schools?

I believe that the library is the hub and heart of the school. It should be a place where students can collaborate and learn together, find a quiet spot to study, and of course, read! School libraries also play an important role in teaching students information and digital literacy skills and supporting learning outcomes across the school.

How do you think your former students would describe you?

I think they would describe me as friendly and approachable, as well as caring and very patient.

What are your favourite books to recommend to students? 

I have always loved reading, and to this day always have a pile of books on my bedside table waiting to be read! My favourite Young Adult series is The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce, which I recommend for lovers of fantasy.

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