By ERICA BAUER
Walk up the steps from the quad to the media center at Redlands East Valley High School and you will be given a hearty greeting by Korrie Krohne, teacher librarian. If it’s during Banned Books week, a teacher librarian’s favorite time of year, she’ll get you thinking about your first amendment rights with student-created art focused on once-forbidden reads. This self-described “book recommender,” won’t just encourage you to find your passion in the pages of books, but guide you on how to find reliable information in the cyber world. Ethic News had the opportunity to research a little into her world beyond REV, and found an extraordinary life-long educator with a passion for not just reading, but riding motorcycles, creating things, and eccentric names for her pets.
Erica Bauer: What is your position or title?
Korrie Krohne: My title is Teacher Librarian (She/her). I have a degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Just as I finished my program, they changed the title of my degree to Information Science–thus reflecting how librarianship has shifted from “book-learning” to information gathering. Librarians are very aware of the shift of how people access information. When public libraries were created in the United States in the early years of our country, our founding fathers felt that if we were going to have a nation governed “by the people” and “for the people” we had better make sure that we had an educated electorate. That is how important libraries were to our founding fathers. I wonder what they would think of information gathering now?!
“The Chalkboard Wall I am standing next to is a new feature in the library renovation. Here’s a link to the page I made about the renovation process…https://sites.google.com/redlandsschools.net/revhs-library-update/home ” said Korrie Khrone of this 2020 photo. (Photo courtesy of Korrie Krohne)
Bauer: What are some of the classes you teach or main responsibilities with this position?
Krohne: I am lucky enough to teach lots of classes all over the school. I collaborate with teachers in all subject areas to teach research, including source evaluation. This, I think, is the most important thing I do. I hope that when students finish a session with me, each will have a better understanding of how to tell what a credible source is, and to understand the importance of making sure that you have a credible source, and not just for your schoolwork, for your everyday-life research as well. And yes, I do read as much as I can get my hands on. I like to read widely so that I can be a better “book recommender.” I also teach educational technology, how to use programs like WeVideo, so that students can create new stories for projects in which they present their information.
Bauer: Would you be willing to share a little about your family and/or pets?
Khrohne: I love animals. I currently have a one-year-old black German Shepherd named Loki. He’s mostly a good boy. We also have 2 cats: Marauder and Her Royal Highness Bill, Queen of the Universe (yes, she’s a female cat, and yes this is her whole name). She really does rule the house. She’s in charge of us all. But in my lifetime, I have had horses, chickens, and many other cats and dogs, and frogs. My oldest child is an Entomology major at UCR, that’s studying bugs. What he thinks is a pet, I don’t exactly agree are pets. He has some Madagascar hissing cockroaches and a Bird Eater spider, it’s a baby now but eventually will be about the size of a dinner plate. I am banking on the fact that by the time the spider gets that big, my kid will be living on his own–or Tiny (yeah, that’s her name) needs to move out! I don’t go in his room much.
Bauer: What led you to the position you are in today? Please feel free to include educational background and previous jobs.
Khrone: I have taught in the Redlands Unified School District for about 27 years. I started as an English Teacher at Redlands High School. When REV opened, I came over here to start the new school. While a teacher here at REV, I went to a part time contract for a while since my kids were babies, so I only taught until lunch time. When my kids were old enough to start school, I wanted to come back to REV full time, but Citrus Valley High School was just opening, and there was no full time spot here at REV. So, I taught at CVHS for a couple of years. While I was there, a book changed my life. The book was The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. (It’s part of the Sophomore curriculum, now). I was reading the book with a book group. One of the things that this allegory says is that the universe aligns for those who follow their personal legend. I guess that means following what is true and right for you. We began to discuss what our personal legends might be, and all I could say is, “I don’t know! I am a mom, and a teacher. I haven’t thought beyond right now!” My friend, the former REVHS librarian, Rebecca Johnston, said, “I know what it is! I am retiring; you should go back to school and get your degree and take over for me!” I laughed when she said that, but I couldn’t sleep that night. I went to talk to her, then applied to San Jose State University’s Library and Information Science program. It was the best thing I could have done! Librarians are my people; their love of First Amendment rights, and books and support of patrons!
Bauer: Where did you grow up? Have you traveled to any interesting places?
Krohne: I was born in Napa Valley, CA. When I was just a year old, we moved to Honolulu, HI. We spent a lot of time at the beach there. When I was 6 we moved back to Napa Valley. I lived there until I finished 7th grade. At that time, my Dad went back to school to become a dentist so we moved to Loma Linda where he attended the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. I have lived in Loma Linda since that time. I have traveled to England and Scotland. Someday, I would love to go to Italy.
Bauer: Did you have any mentors or role models growing up? How did they influence you?
Krohne: My dad is one of the most intelligent people I know. He inspired me to always do my best. I did have a 10th grade English Teacher who made me feel like I was a good writer. And Rebecca Johnston, the previous REV librarian, who saw that I could do this job and changed the course of my life!
Bauer: Do you have skills, interests or hobbies beyond the workday that you would like to share?
Krohne: I love creating things. It’s one of the reasons that I have included a maker space, which we are calling “The Lab,” in the library remodel. I have a minor in art but am especially drawn to working with fabrics. I am a weaver — I own 2 looms — and a quilter. I married a sculptor. My husband is the artist who created our wildcat bronze that is in front of the theater. So my favorite thing is any time I am creating things.
Bauer: What do you enjoy doing most with family and friends? How about when you have time to yourself?
Krohne: I love going on motorcycle rides with my husband. He does the “driving”; I hang on. I love riding because I have to be totally “there” in order to stay on the bike, so nothing intrudes on the experience. We did a ride through Utah and Colorado; that was my favorite. I hate riding where there are lots of people. We like doing Joshua Tree for local rides. It makes me feel strong that I can ride a 420 mile day, then do the same then next for several days in a row. We have a BMW touring bike and a Harley Davidson Dyna. When I have time to myself, I do love to read. I also like to quilt.
Bauer: What is something others may not understand or know about who you or what you do?
Khrohne: People don’t realize that as their librarian, I am here to support them in what they are interested in. Whether it is a personal passion they want to know more about, or a class project or a research paper, I am excited to help them to find the information they need and help them to learn new skills.
Bauer: What advice would you like to share with students today?
Krohne: Your lives will be consumed by information. You have access to it in ways no other generation has. I urge you to be careful consumers of information. Just because it’s “out there on the internet” doesn’t mean it’s the truth. Also, be so careful what information you give away. Your privacy is something that our forefathers fought for; don’t give your personal information and data away to companies just because they ask for it. You guys have no idea how your data is being used, and it frightens me a bit.