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The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Podcast: Elyse Seltzer

Head Librarian Elyse Seltzer discusses her role at School and her outside life.


Librarian Elyse Seltzer plays a song on Ukelele during a Coffee House.
Librarian Elyse Seltzer plays a song on Ukelele during a Coffee House. (Edan Zinn)

Evan: Welcome to our first podcast of this new series, "Unsung Heroes: Those Who Run our School.” I am your host, Evan Michaeli. Today, we are here with School Librarian Elyse Seltzer to discuss your role here at School, things that you like to do outside of School, and I've got a little surprise for you at the end of this segment. So, first, can you do a little introduction for us.

Elyse: I'm Elyse Seltzer. I am the Middle School and Upper School librarian here at Brimmer. I also supervise the library program for pre-k through 12. And I am the diversity equity and inclusion and belonging curriculum liaison.

Evan: We are going to start each segment with a icebreaker. What is the best piece of advice that you've ever been given?

Elyse: That's really hard to think of. But I guess I can think of the best piece of advice that I've been given. In terms of my job, as a librarian, was when I started at library school—one of my first professors said, “there are no emergencies in library.” And I think that has just allowed me to to kind of go with the flow and not take everything so seriously, I love my job and so it's more of a joy than a stress and yeah.

Polly Zimmerman: Hi. I'm Polly. I'm a junior. And I think that Miss officer is really sweet and is always there when I need help.

Evan: How long have you been working with the school?

Elyse: I've been here at Brimmer and May for two whole years. This the start of my third year.

Evan: What keeps it going at school each day?

Elyse:  I guess the people. I really love being here. Sometimes, I feel like even if I if I didn't have this job as librarian here, it's just where I would want to be anyway; all the people that I like are here. And I enjoy talking to and engaging with [them]. I think just the great community here keeps me coming.

Evan: What qualities of libraries and such are you drawn to?

Elyse: Oh, I just love the ability to kind of explore. I love all that's here and and just like the community building of the space and the variety of what a library can offer. I feel like as a librarian, I can just dip into anything—like every subject is my subject in a way. It’s always changing and never boring. And I'm always learning new things and working with new people. So, that's kind of what kind of brings me back specifically to libraries, that I really like,

Evan: Great. Also, what is your favorite part of Brimmer and the School itself.

Elyse: I really like our core values and that we know them and live by them. I really like how small [the School] is and that I can really know and have good relationships with all of the students and all of the teachers. I like that we can also take care of each other and when things need to change, it's easy to pivot and react based off of the people who you're with, because it's not just like this uncaring system. I like that we can care and engage with each other and know each other and move forward based off of that.

Sebastian Valestegui:  I’m Sebastian Valestegui, grade 10. I've always liked that she’s helped me out whenever I need it. She's often kept the library quiet, so I can have a productive work time. And I really like how helpful she is in general. She's always got a positive attitude and looking out for others.

Evan: What are some of your hobbies outside of School?

Elyse: I'm a singer. I've previously been in a chorus, an a-cappella groups and [have done] lots of musical theater. I take voice lessons right now. I'm kind of taking a pause on all of that because I've just started a Ph.D program in urban education leadership and policy at UMass Boston, which I'm really enjoying. I'm putting a lot of my time and focus into that.

Evan: Congratulations. What are some of your favorite genres to sing as a singer.

Elyse: So, I really love show tunes and doing musicals. I also really like jazz and kind of playing around with that. I'm not super good at it, but I enjoy it. I also like to go big with operatic things. I've been in lots of gospel choirs, but I'll sing almost anything, and pop,

Evan: Where have you performed?

Elyse: I love doing the Coffee Houses here at Brimmer. I have also performed at Symphony Hall. I did their Gospel Night in the spring. Riverside Theatre Works is a theater in Hyde Park that mainly does lots of educational programs and they do a couple of main stage shows every year and so I did a cabaret with them this summer and I did Rent with them last fall. So, that's kind of where I've most recently performed.

Evan: If you were to meet when musician today what would it be?

Elyse: I really like Ella Fitzgerald. The success that she had and given the time period in which she did it, I think she'd be a really interesting person to talk to, and I love her style whenever I sing Jazz and I'm trying to sing just like her,

Evan: That's awesome. When it's one of your favorite childhood memories?

Elyse: I would love those like big summer falls; you know, when it's like really hot and it can't get any hotter and then you just have like a wicked strong downpour. I used to like to get in my bathing suit and run outside with my little sister and we would just run around Brookline and play in the water. And we would find grassy hills and just like make a water slide out of them and get so muddy and dirty; it was fantastic. I loved it.

Evan: That’s awesome. And the last part of this little segment. If you had the attention of the whole world for five minutes, what would you say?

Elyse: I would urge us towards empathy and understanding for each other and try to encourage us to not be so divided; maybe I would say read some books because I feel like that's like that's part of why I'm a librarian. I feel we are so divided but books have a way of getting you to know and hear about how people are feeling who you can't necessarily reach her be with. And But yeah, I just want us to come together and understand each

Julian Park: Hi. My name is Julian Park and I appreciate Mrs. Seltzer because whenever I have any questions about any printer stuff or anything like that, she answers it pretty efficiently and pretty fast. So thank you, Miss Seltzer

Evan: If you could go back to high school, what advice would you give your high school self?

Elyse: I don't know if this is it good advice for just like any high schooler but certainly for myself; I would have told myself that like it's not all that serious and it's all gonna work out. Just do you and don't don't worry so much because you know you're going to be fine. I don't know if I would say anything that would make me do anything differently  because everything that happened then has led to now and, and I love where I am now. But I would maybe just encourage myself like not, not to worry so much over at all. Awesome.

Evan: So, I've prepared a surprise for you. We've compiled some things for you to listen to.

Evan: Plays audio of student segments.

Evan: I'm glad that we were able to get some appreciation to you because you're an integral part of our of our community.

Elyse: Thank you happen. That means a lot.

Evan: Thank you. This is our first series of "Unsung Heroes: Those Who Run our School.” We hope to have this Podcast bi-weekly, and we thank you for listening and look out for our next podcast.

Editors' note: This transcript has been edit edited for concision.

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About the Contributor
Evan Michaeli
Evan Michaeli, Outgoing Editor

Evan is passionate about saving the environment and learning geography. When he is not writing articles for The Gator, he enjoys watching and playing sports, especially baseball.

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