Alissa Stribling is a UNC alumnus who credits her elementary school librarian, Ruth Eddy, for her own creativity, resilience and passion for reading. Eddy died in 2011 at the age of 91. Eddy earned her master’s degree in library science from UNC-Chapel Hill in the 1967 and became the librarian at Estes Hill Elementary School in Chapel Hill soon after.
Staff writer Rachel Herzog spoke with Stribling about her elementary school librarian, illiteracy, and the lasting impact one teacher can have on a student.
The Daily Tar Heel: Could you summarize how Mrs. Eddy ran her program and what made it so impactful?
Alissa Stribling: She was a devoted, astute librarian who ran a great program.
First of all, she brought passion to reading and learning. She brought a passion to her job. It wasn’t just a job. It was a calling. It was a calling to share her joy of reading. As a kid, I was excited to go to the library, and I realize now as an adult how her passion for reading made that possible. She engaged us not just with her wonderful, outgoing personality and her love of books. She followed this up with her methodology — we would have a reading circle and I remember her discussing books with us. Her personality was a strong part of that.