Librarian’s guidance helps students, tutors alike

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - If you think about it, school librarians are actually pretty amazing.

They have to know so much: where the books are, what they're about, which ones will interest which kids. They're almost like a magic fountain of information.

One librarian in particular, seems to know exactly what her students and their tutors, need.

Yuri Craig spends her days guiding Chaffee Elementary students to books throughout the library, or helping them with multimedia tasks. When Alfred Johnson and Topper Birney first showed up as tutors, they noticed just how effective Craig was at her job.

"I get here early sometimes so I can see what she's doing and it looks like she's pretty professional in her job," Johnson said.

"She knows what every class is doing, what they're studying, what their interests are. She will find a book that's appropriate for me to go in and read... so I don't have to think" Birney added with a laugh.

Johnson and Birney, a former long-time Huntsville City School Board member, said the challenges of tutoring are many: tracking down students, keeping up with subject matter and changing tastes.

Having Craig to help them has, according to the friends, made their job easier and more enjoyable for everyone involved. In honor of her dedication, Johnson and Birney nominated Craig for WHNT News 19's Tools for Teachers Award.

When we showed up for a surprise in the library recently, Craig was shocked. "Oh! Thank you so much!" Craig said as students burst into applause; seated at little round tables all around her.

Craig now has $319 to spend and said she's likely to buy books (of course.)

She's also humbled to be on the receiving end of such kindness, by those who, like her, want to spark a love of learning.

"It's just an honor. It makes me feel so good," Craig said. "I love this school so much... and I just want everything to run smoothly. I just want everyone to feel welcome."