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The Optimalist Podcast

Jul 5, 2023

This week, I’m joined by Andrea Trudeau. Andrea Trudeau, M.S.Ed., NBCT is a library information specialist with 25 years of teaching experience at Alan B. Shepard Middle School in Deerfield District 109, which is located in the northern suburbs of Chicago. She's also a 2022 Fulbright-Hays Scholar and AASL's 2020 Frances Henne Award Winner who is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Northern Illinois University in Instructional Technology with a research focus on virtual reality and its impact on adolescent students' empathic responses. Since becoming a no-"shh" librarian eight years ago, she has transformed the space into a vibrant, welcoming, student-centered learning commons that emphasizes community, creativity, collaboration, risk-taking, and fun. Andrea is a human-centered librarian who is passionate about social-emotional learning, literacy, innovative digital tools and resources, as well as the Maker Movement. Most importantly, Andrea believes firmly that a school library is the heart of the school, and she works diligently to help all those in her school community feel welcome, valued, and connected. 

Listen as Andrea and I discuss how society is on the brink of a great awakening - and it all starts with us as individuals. 

Links Mentioned

Listening to: School Librarians United 

Follow Andrea on Twitter: @Andrea_Trudeau

Learn more about Andrea at

Andrea’s Attention Method - Belly breathing! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I stop, put my hand on my stomach, and take three deep breaths. Then I can focus my attention where it needs to be.


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  • Music: “Goodnight, Shapeshifter” by MusicForNothing, used under Creative Commons BY-ND 3.0.

Audio Editing & Production: Tim Belmont (@tbelmontedu