Life as a Librarian
Greetings! My name is Matt Smidt. I grew up on a farm south of Kearney, and went to Axtell Community School. After graduating in 1995, I went on to receive my undergraduate degree in elementary education with an emphasis in early childhood from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. At UNK I was a member of the track team, lettering during the two years I participated. Fall 1999 brought me to Lincoln where I did my student teaching at Eagle elementary school, working in the kindergarten and third grade.
Since graduation, I have worked as a Family Educator with the Head Start Program through Lincoln Public Schools located at Southeast Community College and as a para-educator at Palmyra High School in the library with Mrs. Petersen assisting with the technology under Mr. Brown. During my time at Palmyra, I continued my schooling receiving a middle school endorsement to teach grades 4-9 in English and Social Studies in the summer of 2005 through the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a Master’s degree in Library Sciences from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in the summer of 2009. After saying goodbye to my mentor, Mrs. Petersen, in 2007, I had the privilege to become the district’s Library Media Specialist. This has given me the amazing opportunity to work with students of all ages. I teach Library Skills to K-6 and work on projects with students throughout the year. Beginning in the fall of 2018, I will be teaching a Digital Arts class to 8th grade students. I also an in charge the school district's OdysseyWare program. I work with students who need credit recovery or the opportunity to expand and learn something completely new. During my sixteen years at District OR-1, I have had the opportunity to assist in the following:
*Sponsored the Fellowship of Christian Athletes program since 2004
*Sponsored high school quiz bowl since 2007-08
*Sponsored junior high quiz bowl since 2010-11
*This will be my seventh year working with HS track team as the throws coach in 2018-19
In the past:
*Coached junior high football three years
*Coached junior high track ten years
*Sponsored Palmyra Activities for Recreation and Teen Youth for two years.
My wife, Dori, works at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in the College of Education and Human Sciences as the Chief Business Officer/Assistant Dean of Business Operations. We have two daughters, Daisa, 11 and Maci, 8. I spend my summers preparing for the next school year at both libraries and learning every day from my daughters, in addition to running them to various activities including 4-H, Girl Scout volleyball, basketball or softball events. In my free time, I like to listen to audio-books, research topics to inform students, keep up with current issues in the library science world, the world of education (Chromebooks, technology tools to use in classrooms) and social networking.