What They’re Reading: Timothy Wendling, CEO and Principal, Capital Area School for the Arts (CASA)
As Timothy Wendling has grown professionally, so has his concept of what a library means to society.
Throughout his life, and particularly in his education, libraries were places to go when he wanted books to read for fun or when he needed information that was hard to find and access elsewhere.
The internet changed that relationship for a while. Accurate information became more readily available, and he found himself turning away from the library.
Then the pendulum swung back toward libraries. Wendling was growing professionally in his role as teacher and principal in the Steelton-Highspire School District. Increasingly, he realized “what I had taken for granted – that libraries are places that make information, knowledge, and ideas accessible to everybody in ways that the internet cannot.”
It is a belief that Wendling – now the CEO and principal for the Capital Area School for the Arts (CASA) charter school in Harrisburg – feels more strongly than ever.
“It really hit me over the past 10 years, when misinformation became so prevalent and in the mainstream,” he says. “The Library helps eliminate that misinformation.”
What are you reading? I'm a big fan of reading books that will help me create a better learning environment for the students and staff members that I serve. I'm currently reading Leaders Eat Last and Start with Why, both by Simon Sinek. He is an inspirational speaker and author who became highly visible after his exceptional TED Talk in 2009.
Why those particular books? As we move into the first fall back to school after the height of the pandemic, it will be more important than ever to connect with students, families, and colleagues. As stakeholders in the school community, we all want to serve students the best we can. These books focus on successful strategies to help us reach our shared goals – high academic and artistic achievement, a common purpose for learning, and creating a culture where all students, families, and staff members feel valued and safe.
What does The Library mean to the community you serve? As the leader of a public charter high school in the city that pulls students from 31 surrounding districts, I have seen the inequities that my students face outside our facility. The Library helps level the playing field with all of the services they offer for free to children and adults in our communities. As a parent, I continue to use my public library to help enrich my own child's education and love of reading.