Dawn Treude is the latest addition at Echo Canyon Elementary School, and as its new librarian, she couldn’t be more eager to inspire a new generation of readers.

“My number one priority is to make Echo Canyon students feel welcome in the library and excited about books,” Treude said. “I’m working hard while the library is closed to students, so when they return, the space is inviting, and the books are shelved more openly for sight – rather than touch – browsing.”

Once students return to the library, they will see an inviting space filled with Dog Man (a comedic novel series featuring a cartoon half-dog, half-man police officer) decorations, stuffed animals and several pool-noodle lightsabers from Treude’s laundry basket of decorations.

Beyond the welcoming environment, Treude promises a different approach to the typical library setting.

“Traditionally, people think of a library in terms of the don’ts – talk too loudly, be silly, pick the same book over and over, etc.,” Treude said. “I’d like to refrain from that. Yes, we do sing in the library! Yes, we do laugh in the library! And yes, we do learn in the library!”

After being a stay-at-home mom for many years, Treude finished college with a degree in information and library science. She also holds certificates in creative writing from both Phoenix College and Stanford University. Treude has always been an avid reader but didn’t see herself as a librarian until she took a job at the Horizon High School library.

“I enjoy the rhythm of school life and the traditions like spirit week. The best part of any day is putting a book in someone’s hand,” Treude said. “Books delight, entertain and inform us. Reading for pleasure is my number one form of self-care, and I want my students to have books they love at home for that as well.”

Treude started in special education, but she has also worked in a public library setting and, of course, at multiple schools. Over her career, she’s stretched the traditional sense of libraries by introducing programs like “Shark Week,” creating a teen advisory board, and incorporating Star Wars into storytime.